First and foremost, if you don’t want to read this, you don’t have to. It’s free info for those who want to read, and decide for themselves how accurate this analysis is. If you don’t agree with my analysis, feel free to talk about it on its merits.
I’ll start with the very basics – the definition of overpowered. Everyone here is using the term left right center in this forum. Until and unless we fix a definition (which you can choose to disagree), then this won’t be an analysis.
The definition of overpowered in a game is where, something is so powerful that nothing you do can counter it. Yup, as simple as that. If something is powerful but there’s are reasonable ways to counter it, then it’s not overpowered.
Now that a definition is fixed (in which, once again, feel free to disagree), I’ll break down the analysis by dividing them into “issues”.
1) Issue no.1 : Double Boosted Paladins can run through any defenses
i) There was nothing in defense that could really kill Double Boosted Paladins. THE best shot at stopping paladins were skull towers. However, there’s another safety net for the paladins even IF skull towers kill lots of paladins. Thus, prior to the update, there wasn’t even a need for the king to even manually kickback those skull bombs. If the paladins die by it, so be it.
ii) The use of Ceres makes sure that even IF many of your paladins die, Ceres will just make even an improved spirit version of them which are immune to lightning.
B ) Solution by Flare to resolve this issue:-
i) Skull towers deal more damage
ii) Ceres summons less to prevent the redundancy of defense strategy that succeeded in destroying many paladins
C) The REAL effect of the balance:-
Double Boosted Paladins are still very powerful in destroying towers, units, and even defensive beast. The effect of the balance makes it so that you now have to PAY attention to keeping your paladins alive. In the official announcement, Flare already explained that adding levels to towers will not fix everything. If you look at the cause of it being overpowered, you’ll see the reason why. Even if skull towers are now more powerful, if Ceres was not nerfed, this issue will not be resolved too because players will still let plenty of paladins die by the newly improved skull towers as there’s little no consequences of it when Ceres could literally raise up an entire spirit army that is better.
D) Is the solution too much?
It’s easy to answer this question if we see what Flare was trying to balance, i.e. the balance between Paladins not being able to die and them being able to survive if they are well taken care of.
Now, IF the solution introduced by Flare causes paladins to no longer survive no matter what you do, then defense is overpowered. Otherwise, balance is achieved, i.e. paladins can be destroyed if you don’t use them properly, but they can also be very powerful if you take care of them when you raid. Are there reasonable ways to take care of your paladins so they don’t die so easily? Plenty. I’m not just talking about Shield. The need to kickback those skull bombs become way more important now. Don’t like the difficulty in kicking those skull bombs? There’s the bombkick aura that makes it easier. Don’t like heal aura with shield and don’t like to kick those bombs? There’s Stun.
It’s also not rocket science why after all these nerfs, Flare actually gave a BUFF to blizzard against skull towers, one of the most used spell in the game. It is to give ANOTHER reasonable way to counter this situation.
Now, let’s apply back the definition of overpowered regarding THIS particular issue. Is defense overpowered regarding this issue? Answer is no, because while it becomes more difficult now to protect your army of paladins, there are many reasonable ways to do so.
2. Issue no. 2 : Lightning Tower being way underpowered
i) it gets one shot by Bladestorm, one of the most commonly used spell in the game. There’s nothing to stop this as no matter how many forges you have on LT, they still get one shot by Bladestorm.
ii) even if it survives, it doesn’t do anything to spirit units
B ) Solution by Flare to resolve this issue:
i) Tweak Bladestorm so that it can no longer one shot a max and well forged Lightning Tower
ii) Makes it difficult for spirit units now to survive. Only IF spirit units are well protected, that it can now act as a “shield” against these Lightning Tower.
C) The REAL effect of the balance:-
Lightning Towers are now favourable being placed at U turn of bases again. Players may find difficulty just using Bladestorm to go at one spot, click, and run, while all Lightning Towers get destroyed. This is not to say Bladestorm is useless against Lightning Tower. Flare just made it so that after Bladestorm is used, the Lightning Towers will still have a LITTLE bit of health left.
When Lightning Towers don’t get one shot by Bladestorm, the difficulty will of course be felt by many players. The added damage introduced by Flare also rewards the defender for ensuring those Lightning Towers don’t go down in one go (with forges and combination of heal tower etc).
D) Is the solution too much?
Again, the question depends on whether there are reasonable ways to counter this newly buffed up Lightning Towers. Ironically, the old common combo of Blizzard Bladestorm Shield still works against Lightning Towers. The only difference? Change the way one raid just a little.
For example, I notice some players use bladestorm and blizzard separately. If you use them TOGETHER in a U turn, the blizzard will cause a little damage to the LT and at the same time freezes any heal towers that will try to heal those LT, and of course, the Bladestorm will then take care of all the surrounding LT at the U turn in one go.
There are so many other reasonable ways to counter this too. Making sure the now more fragile spirit units survive becomes more rewarding now as it is now more important to protect yourself from the more powerful version of LT.
These are probably the 2 issues that covers most of the complaints, i.e. Ceres and Bladestorm nerfs. I will add more if I see fit. BUT, I would like to talk about something else now. The players’ incessant demand for another balance change. If you’ve read the above analysis with an open mind, then you will understand what I’m about to say too.
It is NOT easy to balance things when the CAUSE of the imbalance is a scale that tips heavily if you tweak one little thing. Let’s take Bladestorm nerf as an example in issue no.2. The ENTIRE idea of nerfing Bladestorm against LT is to make sure Bladestorm alone don’t one shot LT so easily. It’s not as easy as “Flare, go find something in between”. There’s no in between for this issue. If the solution is to add one new level to Bladestorm, and now it can again one shot LT, then this issue will just go back to where it was in 3.9.
There are equal number of players complaining that Bladestorm can’t one shot LT now as compared to the number of players who complained Bladestorm CAN one shot LT in 3.9. For those who keep chanting "Don’t go overboard, Flare. Find the middle ground!! Hmmmmmmmmmmm… what’s the middle ground?