2020 Survey Data Analysis

Hi friends, Stephanie here! While we put the finishing touches on the site fixes, I'd like to hand over for a bit to our friend Nicolas Ratelle, who has worked incredibly hard to create both the survey you see linked to the left, and this article, covering its results. He's put a stupendous amount of work into this, and we strongly encourage you to give it a read. The first thing that you're going to notice about this article is its size - I strongly encourage you to use Ctrl+F if you're after any specific data. I'm sure that Nic will be active in the comments when he can to discuss his work in detail. For now, take it away, Nic!

Data analysis for the 2020 Warmachine's community perception of balance

First, I want to start by thanking all the people who took the time to answer the survey, I have gathered over 300 answers in a matter of days and because of that I’m now able to present you this report. I will try to present all of the data the most clearly possible and sometimes try to pitch in a small analysis about why I think that the results are like that. I will take care to differentiate facts and my opinion.

I could be doing other surveys of that kind in the future if there is a need for it, or simply re-running it every 6-12 months to keep track of the meta. I don’t want to bombard people with surveys and I want to take the time to make those so I can bring a convincing argument to PP. 

I am not affiliated with PP nor did they ask me to do this survey, but with their statement on WMH General about transparency and the participation of Loren in the community, I’ll try to contact them with the results.

So thanks to all of those who participated and without further ado, here are the results!

Section 1: Disclaimers and limitations

  • Disclaimer and limitations
  • Missing casters 
  • Bias
  • Data sample size
  • Type of data
  • CIDs
  • Choices
  • Terms

Section 2: Overview

  • General data
  • Analysis - General Data
  • Overall Rankings (By score)
  • Analysis - Overall Rankings
  • Faction ranking
  • Analysis - Faction ranking
  • Theme force ranking
  • Analysis - Theme force ranking
  • Casters Ranking
  • Analysis - Casters ranking

Section 3: Factions

  • Cryx
  • Cygnar
  • Khador
  • Protectorate of Menoth
  • Retribution of Scyrah
  • Mercenaries
  • Convergence of Cyriss
  • Crucible Guard
  • Circle Orboros
  • Legion of Everblight
  • Skorne
  • Trollbloods
  • Minions
  • Grymkin
  • Infernals

Section 4: Results

  • Conclusion

Section 1 - Disclaimers and Limitations

Here are a few disclaimers, because I’m human and it seems that I made some mistakes! 


Missing castersDue to human error, there are a few casters missing in the survey. This includes 

- Helga on Wheels

- Aurum Lucanum Athanor Locke (Convergence)

- The cross faction casters of Warrior of the Old Faith (Example : Vlad3 for Menoth)


Bias I tried to create the survey to be as unbiased as possible. I will also try to present the data in the same way, focusing on the stats and differentiating my opinion from facts wherever I could sparkle it. I did mention that I am a Circle Orboros player and I will try to stay as far as possible from faction bias, being conscious about it. 


Data sample sizeWhile having over 300 answers, each faction has a different number of answers, which range from ~30-35 to 80+. This means that some of the faction does have a less meaningful set of data to work with. 


Type of dataThis survey is about taking subjective information and trying to put numbers on it. Because an element is rated highly does not mean that it absolutely dominates the meta. However, the information can give us a good view about what people consider strong. The context might be missing and could require further investigation to understand it well. 


CIDsLegion CID just got out and the faction is for sure not solved at the moment. So most of the Legion’s data is probably not very usable at the moment. I still Included Bethayne2 to see what was the general opinion on her, but we’ll need to see the effects of the CID on the tables to have a real idea of its effects on the faction. 


ChoicesI chose an arbitrary scale for the colors in the tables that I will present. Rankings goes from 1 to 5, with 3 being the middle value. GREEN are values over 3.75, YELLOW are values between 2.25 and 3.75, and RED are values under 2.25. I chose that scale to highlight the top and bottom of the curve. I made an arbitrary choice so it would highlight an interesting amount of data. 


Possible improvements to the Survey :

  • Make it shorter and more precise, maybe 1 per faction if needed
  • If so, make a hub so people can answer any number of them easily
  • Add some sections to talk about broken/unhealthy interactions
  • NOT making a too long question mandatory *cough* faction ranking *cough*
  • Trying to get a full list of models/themes to not forget anybody
  • Make sure to have people double checking for bias
  • Trying to have some translations for non-English speakers


Terms: To facilitate the analysis I use the Standard Deviation, Mean, Median and Mode of each data set. The data sets will be available to consult to everybody, but I just want to take a few lines to explain what these are used for. If you know your statistics, feel free to skip ahead.


Mean : You take the sum of all the data and divide it by the number of entries.

Standard Deviation (SD) : The Standard Deviation is used to see how spread out the data is in a data set. The lower the Standard Deviation is, the less spread out the data is. As an example, if you had a data set with all the same data, then the standard deviation would be 0. In this survey, most SD range from about 0.5 to 1.25.

Median : The median is the value of the middle data entry of your data set. If you have a data set with 3 entries, the median would be the 2nd data entry. With a dataset with an even number of entries, you take the mean between the 2 center data entries.

Mode : The mode is the value that is the most frequent in your data set.

Section 2: Overview

General Data

Analysis - General Data

Most of the players consider themselves more competitive than not, which makes sense (people more invested in the game will tend to be more active in the community and alert to these kinds of initiatives). 

For the balance and diversity of the game, 5 being the most balanced and diverse, the rating seems to fall short. Players seem to find that the game is mildly balanced and not that diverse. These impressions seem to be confirmed by the top curve of the factions/casters/theme forces being very high while the rest of the game seems to tend to be in the lower bracket of balance. As an example, There are 56 casters out of the 234 rated in this survey that are rated 3.00 or higher. That means that people rate about 24% of the casters as balanced or better while the other 75% is lower than balanced.

Overall Rankings (By score)

Analysis - Overall Rankings

From the ranking we can clearly see a high end top of the curve, composed of Mercenaries, Infernals and Protectorate of Menoth and a bottom end of the curve composed of Retribution, Crucible Guard and Trollbloods. 

Most of the factions sit in the middle bracket, which seems to say that people consider most of the faction balanced and which could be even truer if the top and bottom end of the curve are brought back in line.

Theme Force Rankings

Analysis - Theme Force Rankings

First remark, out of the top 15 themes, there are 5 themes that don’t play Archons. The 2 Infernals themes, Irregulars, Devourer’s Host and Primal Terrors. We can argue that Devourer’s host now often includes a Dhunian Archon, but the Archons included in the theme (Primals) do not really see play in the theme in general.

Of the 8 “Green” themes, 2 don’t play Archons (Dark Legacy and Irregulars) and all of those theme forces went through CID recently (Or got CID models recently, like Riot Quest models for Irregulars).

The best theme is considered to be The Faithful Masses, which can be attributed to a mix of factors, like the amazing requisition choices that are Initiates of the Wall, an excellent theme bonus, access to Archons and quality models and casters.

Out of the 62 theme forces in the game, 8 are considered in the top tier, 38 are in the middle tier and 22 are in the bottom tier.

Caster Rankings

Analysis - Theme Force Rankings

The top tier of the caster is composed of 13 casters playable in 9 factions (Aurora2 is there 2 times). Of these casters 7 casters have been through CID recently directly, 3 of these 13 casters have NOT been through CID and are not played in a theme force that have been through CID recently (Krueger2, Syvestro and Skarre1, and one could argue that Skarre got Asphyxious 4 recently). Out of the 13 top casters, 8 of them belong to the top 3 factions.

Out of the 234 casters in the survey, 14 are in the top (when counting Aurora2 2 times), 143 are in the middle tier and 77 casters are in the bottom tier. There are 3 times more casters below the 3.00 line than there are above, which can be because of the dominance of the top casters or the lack of good homes to most of the casters. This also seems to indicate that the high end of the curve is very high over the rest of the game in terms of power level.

Section 3: Factions

Cryx

Cryx Casters

Cryx is considered to be the last of the middle tier faction at the moment. It has some powerful options for it’s casters, like Skarre1 and Deneghra1, but seem to fall short in the current metagame. 

Skarre1 is considered the 4th highest caster, which can be attributed to the way the caster is played (High threat ranges, high accuracy and hitting power and protection from the feat). The addition of Asphyxious4 in her arsenal might push the public opinion even further up lately.

Cryx Themes

Of the theme forces, Scourge and Black Industries are considered balanced while Dark Host and The Ghost Fleet are more in the low tier. This can be attributed to the low number of options in the theme and their weaknesses to some pieces of tech in the actual meta (RFP shuts down Ghost Fleet completely and low-threat range models of Dark Host have a hard time getting up there to do work).

Cryx Faction

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Most comments point out that Skarre1, Lich4 and Deneghra1 are by far the best options in the faction and are probably too far ahead of the curve to be healthy for the game.
  • There seems to be very little diversity possible in the competitive list, partly due to the inner imbalance of the faction. This also may damage the design space of the faction.
  • Soul mechanics being gutted by all the Archons is very bad for the faction

Cygnar

Cygnar Casters
Cygnar Themes

Of Cygnar's theme forces, it has access to Flame, which is considered to be among the best options in the game and seems to fall short on it’s other options. Flame is mostly played by Stryker2 and Stryker1 while the other casters accessible in that theme seem to be considered sub-par.

The other options in the faction seem mostly balanced in the eye of the people answering this survey.

Cygnar Faction

Cygnar is ranked 7th faction at the moment, which puts it in the middle of the pack.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Stryker2 and the blood-bound interaction is something that should be looked at
  • The internal balance is very skewed. On one side there is Flame which is very strong, probably too much, while the rest of the faction isn’t even close.
  • Jacks overall aren’t seen in a positive way. Heavies are considered weak.
  • People feel that their casters could have a better balance and some more unique niches to help that.

Khador

Khador Casters

On the caster side, Khador seems to have a roster of good caster that people mostly consider balanced, with Vlad2 being considered the strongest (19th).

Khador Themes

Of the 7 theme forces Khador has access to, 3 of them seem to be considered pretty good (rank 11, 13 and 14) while the rest are more toward the lower tier. It also has Legion of Steel, which is considered to be the worst theme force of the game.

Khador Faction

Khador is ranked 10th faction, slightly low in the middle tier.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Wolves, Warriors and Flame are mostly considered strong options while the rest of the faction is very lacking.
  • The non-khador stuff is strong while the khador stuff outside of wolves aren’t.
  • Sorscha2, Butcher2, Kozlov, Old witch1 really need to be looked at.
  • Armored corps : Too slow, not resilient enough, Chariots really lacking.
  • Winterguard Kommand : Lacking theme benefit and free options and units.
  • Legion of Steel : Bad and expensive units, victim stats.

Protectorate of Menoth

Protectorate of Menoth Casters

On the caster side, Menoth has 2 clear winners (The Harbinger of Menoth, rank 5 and Cyrenia, rank 10) which both run Faithful Masses very well. The rest of the casters seem to be either about balanced or way below average.

Protectorate of Menoth Themes

Menoth has what players consider the best theme force (Faithful Masses), in addition to Warriors of the Old Faith which is seen as above average and then the rest of their theme forces are either below average or considered bad.

The ranking of the Faithful Masses can probably be attributed to a list of factors such as Requisition options (Initiates of the Wall), Theme bonus (+2/+2 to jacks is very potent), available casters and models synergies (Archons, book and others).

PERSONAL OPINION: The theme is probably not that far from being balanced, but in its current iteration it seems to be very oppressive if you don’t bring a certain set of tools. This can contribute to reducing meta diversity and can have some bad implications for the game. As an example, Circle Orboros have a very hard time to play into The Faithful Masses, even if they try to directly tech for it.

Protectorate of Menoth Faction

Menoth is considered the 3rd best faction and while being pretty far from the top 2, it’s ahead by a lot from the rest of the factions.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Faithful Masses : Initiates as free options are too good.People think that they either need to get nerfed and stay free, or not be free and be adjusted.
  • No real reason to play other themes because Faithful Masses is so good.
  • Exemplar Interdiction : Theme is too slow and not resilient enough for current Scenario pack.
  • Guardians : Choices too limited and units sub-par.
  • Creator’s might : No real reason to play that when Faithful Masses does the jack theme better.
  • Harbinger and Cyrenia are two casters that overshadow most other options in the faction and that are mostly negative experiences to play against (The combo of un-interactive models and rules that prevent you from reaching them)

Retribution of Scyrah

Retribution of Scyrah Casters

On the caster side, the 2 clear winners of the faction are Garryth2 (9th) and Issyria (20th), which again, both run Tridents very well. The rest of the options in the faction seem to be considered below average or bad.

Retribution of Scyrah Themes

It has 2 under average theme forces and 2 bad ones, with Defender of Ios and Legion of Dawn being pretty close in terms of power. The 2 factions that aren’t considered bad are the ones that can play the Trident.

Retribution of Scyrah Faction

Retribution is the first of the low tier factions, ranked at 13th place. The standard deviations of most of the choices seem pretty low, so there seems to be little deviation.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Internal balance health isn’t good. Lots of sub-par models and on the other side, Tridents.
  • Overall lack of diversity in the different theme forces, especially in Forges.
  • Shadows : Elite costed infantry without meaningful support to deliver them and lacking theme benefits.
  • Most casters are interesting, but they are clearly overshadowed by Garryth2 and Issyria.

Mercenaries

Mercenaries Caster

On the caster side Mercs have Fiona, who is considered as the best caster of the game at the moment and which runs both Flame in the Darkness and Irregulars very well. The second best is Aurora2 in Strange Bedfellows. Mercenaries have a good number of interesting middle-high tier options like Ossrum Irregulars.

Mercenaries Themes

On the side of the theme forces, Mercenaries have 3 top tier themes, Strange Bedfellows (3rd), Flame in the Darkness (4th) and The Irregulars (5th), 5 under average theme forces and a low-tier one.

Mercenaries Faction

Mercenaries is considered the best faction in the game, pretty much tied with Infernals.

Overall the faction seems to have access to a high number of very good options that keep getting better with the fact that there are new releases all the time for Mercenaries. They both have access to top tier casters and top tier theme forces, which pushes them ahead in terms of strength.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Irregulars having access to all the very high-powered solos and releases makes it possibly too strong.
  • Irregulars seems to be overshadowing a lot of other themes and there isn’t a reason to play these other themes instead of Irregulars.
  • Asphyxious4 is too strong and skews the faction
  • Fiona’s kit feels too strong, especially when combined with Flame
  • Too many strong theme forces in a single faction. This leads to too much tools for all the answers the other factions could ask
  • Negation angels feel too strong (Accurate paralysis with very high threat range).
  • Even if themes in a vacuum are fine, right now the sheer diversity makes it so the faction really feels at the top.
  • Befuddle and Countercharge is seen as something negative.
  • Auroras feel too strong and many people don’t understand well the inclusion of Strange Bedfellows into Mercenaries.

Convergence of Cyriss

NOTE : There are substantially less people that rated Convergence. Ratings might be less reliable .

Convergence Casters

On the caster side of Convergence, there is Aurora2 at the top, probably because of Strange Bedfellows and Aurora1, Orion, Lucant and Axis in the balanced category while the rest of the casters fall in the lower category.

It is to note that Aurora2 is considered very high in 2 factions that both have access to Strange Bedfellows. 

Convergence Themes

They have access to 3 theme forces, Strange Bedfellows, which is considered among the best, Clockwork Legion that is considered as slightly below average and Destruction Initiative that is in the low-tier.

Convergence Faction

Convergence is ranked as the 5th best faction as of now, right at the 3.00 just right balance mark.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Destruction Initiative’s free options are lacking and Clockwork Legions will often produce a similar list but better
  • Strange bedfellows and Asphyxious4 are overtuned and make the faction better than it really is

Crucible Guard

NOTE : There are substantially less people that rated Crucible Guard. Ratings might be less reliable.

Crucible Guard Casters

Most of their casters seem to hover in the low-middle zone, while Syvestro is in the top casters and Lukas in the bottom tier. Even with a caster rated that high, the faction seems to suffer from other problems and as of late, is almost absent from the competitive scene.

PERSONAL OPINION : Syvestro will be a caster to watch for with the next CID. He has a lot of potential to overshadow the rest of the faction like he does at the moment.

Crucible Guard Themes

They have access to 2 theme forces, Magnum Opus which is slightly below average and Prima materia that is considered low tier.

Crucible Guard Faction

Crucible is ranked 2nd worst faction in the game at the 14th position .

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Syvestro carries the faction on his back
  • Archons hurt the faction a lot (immune to most living/construct tech the faction has)
  • Lack of spell protection leave the faction very vulnerable to many matchups
  • Infantry feels lacking
  • Prima Materia : No real reason to play the theme over Magnum Opus because you have more limited options, no access to Mercs and no good theme benefit
  • Lukas need his juice mechanic looked at, he just dies by himself

Circle Orboros

Circle Orboros Casters

On the caster side, it has Krueger2 at the top of the faction, Iona and Wurmwood as mid-high and the rest is either average or low. Krueger has, by himself, the power to bend the pairing process, especially since the addition of the access to the Well of Orboros.

Circle Orboros Themes

On the theme force side, Circle has 2 mid-high tier theme forces (The Devourer’s host at 15th position and The Bones of Orboros at 17th position) and 2 low tier theme forces.

PERSONAL OPINION : People rate Secret Masters pretty low and while the theme has glaring issues like being counter-synergistic with the faction’s massive amount of Friendly Faction buffs and some very bad models (Druids), I think that the theme has a place right now and could probably be rated higher, especially with the influx of Riot Quest models.

Circle Orboros Faction

Circle Orboros is currently ranked at 8th place, which is mostly middle of the pack.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Living beasts do not function in the game as they are outside of Storm Raptor and Scarsfells
  • Circle suffers a lot from the current top metagame and the Archons. Tharn is still a good theme, but get preyed on by the current Meta.
  • Overall poor inner balance. Krueger2 and a few other casters keep the faction alive, but there are some dysfunctional aspects to the faction
  • Wild Hunt : All the infantry are very bad
  • Secret Masters : Druids are very bad and aren’t worth playing on the table. Minions not being FF is counter-synergistic with the warlocks. Wurmwood not being in the theme is weird,
  • Warlocks that synergize with living beasts suffer from their low quality


Legion of Everblight

The true analysis of Legion is hard to do because they just got updated. The data is very uncertain and thus, I will stay brief on it. The faction needs to be played and solved before we can judge its power level.

Legion of Everblight Casters

Even without much time out, Bethayne2 seems to be considered as one of the strongest warlocks of the faction, but time will tell if it really is the case.

Legion of Everblight Themes

Primal Terrors seems to be considered their best theme, followed by Children and Ravens, with Oracles as the last one.

Legion of Everblight Faction

Legion is ranked at 6th position.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Need to see CID effects on the faction

Skorne

Skorne Casters

On the caster side, we have Zaal2 in the top category, followed by Makeda3 and Rasheth in the mid-high tier. The rest of their options fall in the mid to low tiers.

Skorne Themes

For their theme force they have The Exalted rated very highly (6th) and Disciples of Agony as a balanced theme force, while the others seem to be in the bottom tier.

The Exalted has seen a lot of play with Zaal2 (Their best ranked caster) and has a very strong and defining theme force bonus and a synergistic army that can be oppressive to a lot of armies.

Skorne Faction

Skorne is ranked 4th, which makes it the best “middle of the pack” faction.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Faction heavies do not feel good on the table.
  • Exalted : Theme benefit and Supreme guardians feel overtuned, but mostly with Zaal2, so might be a Zaal2 problem. The theme force seems to overshadow most other options.
  • Most Skorne infantry seem to be considered weak and need to be looked at.
  • Turtles feel as a crutch, which makes the faction vulnerable when the turtles do not work (Lack of other good options).
  • Faction might be too slow to function well in current SR packet.


Trollbloods

Trollbloods Casters

On the caster side, Trolls have Kolgrima as the best caster of the faction by a good margin. Madrak1, Calandra, Borka2, Grim1 and Doomy3 sit in the middle of the pack and the rest in the middle-low and lower ratings.

Trollbloods Themes

On the side of theme forces, Trolls have Storm of the north which is considered balanced and then the rest which are considered mid-low and low tier.

Trollbloods Faction

Trollbloods is considered as the worst faction of the game.

It is interesting to see that even with a theme force considered as balanced and a pretty highly ranked caster they are still considered as the worst faction of the game. The current CID might bring them more tools to help them in the current meta and help their current game plan.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Will need to see post-CID

Minions

Minions Casters

On the caster side, Minions seem to have a balanced roster with only a few options that people find bad. Dr. Arkadius is the highest rated of the faction.

Minions Themes

They have 3 theme forces, Will Work For Food, which is considered very good and the other 2 which are in the lowest category.

Minions Themes

Minions are pretty much in the middle of the pack in terms of ranking.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Blindwater is too focused on Posse, which aren’t that great, especially now and if you don’t take them, you basically forgo your theme benefit.
  • Thornfall : Pig infantry aren’t that good base (Outside of Valkyries) and really lack support from the casters. No real reason to play it over WWFF.
  • WWFF overshadows the other theme and will continue to do so with access to Archons and power solos.

Grymkin

Grymkin Casters

Grymkin casters seem to be the most balanced overall, with Dreamer being rated the best and the King of nothing the worst. All of the casters are rated near the balanced rating of 3.

Grymkin Themes

They have access to 2 similarly rated theme forces, which are both slightly under the balanced rating.

Grymkin Faction

Grymkin is considered as the 11th faction and is slightly below the “balanced” rating.

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Meta preys on them, making them less interesting
  • Most options feel balanced, but they lack the tools to build interesting lists in the current high-threat and damage meta.

Infernals

Infernals Casters

For the casters, all 3 infernal masters that can be taken in Dark Legacy are rated very highly, among the top of the casters of the game and they seem to have a few interesting options for Heart of Darkness also.

It is the faction in which you get the most high-rated options with 4 casters in the green category.

Infernals Themes

They have access to 2 theme forces, Dark legacy, which is considered as the 2nd best theme force in the game and Heart of Darkness, which is also highly rated.

Infernals Faction

Infernals are rated as the 2nd best faction of the game, pretty much tied with Mercenaries for that spot.

PERSONAL OPINION : I think that Infernals are bad for the game as they are right now. They exist in a bubble of their own and have all the rules to play their game plan without caring too much about their opponent. They have immunities to KD, Stationary, ranged protection that you can safely apply from anywhere with Zaat, they have heavies that can trivially 1-round colossals with minimal effort. I think that the fact that they also ignore a lot of rules hinder what is playable into them and ultimately, limits what the other factions can play. If there were more feats, abilities and effect that could reach them, you would have more options to build around and play lists into them, but right now I don’t think that it is the case. You get punished for playing things that you would usually play for no reasons. 

As an example, putting my circle player glasses, let’s say I wanted to play Mohsar. He could be interesting, but the problem is that suddenly his signature spell, Sunhammer, and his feat don’t do ANYTHING because they are playing Infernals. The fact that they simply ignore a lot of rules makes it so they don’t have glaring weaknesses that players could try to exploit, which is bad for the game diversity and health. 

Comments on balance from the survey

  • Tormentors feel undercosted and overtuned (mat7, snacking, grab and smash, etc).
  • Valin Hauke with Faction-wide tactician and no-kd/stationary in a huge bubble is too strong.
  • The Essence economy as it exists is mostly non-existent. The hermit can feed essence to most models which breaks the need to sustain essence to models.
  • All the Masters feel overtuned with too many tools and not enough weaknesses.
  • Summoning does feel very strong, with basically no incentive to get a light
  • Sloan is considered a huge Negative play experience and Hearts empowers her even more than she is in Cygnar
  • The way Heart’s list building work does not seem to promote a good variety of lists.
  • The way Infernals can ignore a lot of rules isn’t healthy for the game.

Section 3: Results

This concludes the analysis of the data of this survey. I will end by trying to resume a bit and expand on the data, sprinkling a bit of my personal opinion and experience about the game.

From what we can see, there seem to be a minority of models and theme forces rated very high, while most of the game is rated balanced or less. This is especially true with casters (~25% of the casters are rated 3.00 or more). This gives me the impression that there is a huge gap between the top and the bottom of the curve and that this pushes further away some casters or theme forces that could be interesting otherwise, but that are simply outclassed by other options.

People rated the balance of the game as average (3.01/5) and the diversity as below average (2.47/5) and when you are looking at the competitive scene, you mostly see the same theme forces and casters over and over. Possible meta diversity is probably being shutted down by some of these oppressive options. Now, what is the solution? There is not a simple one for sure, but the survey helped to highlight potential problematic elements. Flat out nerfing the top rated elements in the survey could help, but also could cause other problems if not done well. Context is important and finding why something is rated as high should enable devs to understand what they would need to change to keep some of the options more in line with the rest of the game.

I also think that diversity is a point that should be addressed a bit more aggressively in the game. Right now, most, if not all, of the top casters are casters that can play in most of the field and that don’t have specific tech into their kits. I think that when a caster is designed around playing with souls or playing agains’t living models for example, it restricts them and makes it so they are harder to justify in pairings, because they create blind spots that are bad for you.

I’ll put back my Circle player glasses for an example, Morvahna1. She has an interesting kit that is good enough to see play in the current meta, but at the same time, a big part of her kit just does not exist vs Strange Bedfellows and Immortals (Feat only works on living and undead). If you were to remove that restriction, suddenly she becomes a significantly better option and is not punished for playing in a significant part of the field, while not being a massive buff in matchups where she already is good at. Restricting tools too much lead to tools not being interesting if you can’t play them. I also think that it is a big reason why Infernals are considered so good. People should have tools to play against them and should not be punished for bringing elements that work on 14/15 factions!

It is also interesting to look at what the top of the ranking is made of. The top of the theme forces is ALL composed of recent CIDs and the top of the casters is mostly composed of that also. This seems to indicate some power creep with the latest releases, which seem to be dominating the ratings.

Overall I’m still very satisfied playing the game and I’m optimistic when looking at the recent changes at the game. I think that the Legion CID might have opened up some interesting options and the Trolls one seems promising as well. Time will tell if it’s over the top or not, but for now I mostly like what I’m seeing.

Thanks again to all who took their time to answer the survey and/or to read this document. It was some interesting work to do and I hope that it will bring some more information and constructive discussions about the game and how to approach it.

I may run that experiment again in a few months or maybe a year if there is a need/want for it, might be a good thing to have the evolution of the general perception of the public over time!

With all that, thanks for reading, see you soon at a convention when the world won’t be burning anymore!

Nicolas C. Ratelle


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