Thoughts on Weapon vs. Spell Power Growth

Over the last week, I’ve been playing around with the various crafters not named Eveline (/hears much disapproving grumbling from the community) and Xione decided to RNG-bless me with an Epic copy of Insect Plague. The spell does an absolutely silly amount of damage when equipped on a Shaman, especially for the 50 mana cost and extreme ease of refilling the spell for additional casts, even at level 1.

So, this got me thinking… why are Epic weapons weak at level 1, while Epic spells are so powerful at level 1?

Although Epic weapons have access to Attributes and Abilities at level 1, they are still dependent on that weapon’s Power rating to achieve maximum effect. The Power growth curve is fairly linear, as well.

On the other hand, Epic spells do not have Attributes and Abilities. Instead, the vast majority of a spell’s power is baked into the base spell effect/damage, with minimal growth with leveling. For spells, the effectiveness of a spell is often not in its Power, but the bonus or alternate/supplemental effect granted by the spell’s Rarity (additional gem creation, better chances of a secondary effect processing, and so on). These Rarity bonuses are available at level 1, and are often far more powerful than the Power growth curve from 1-50 for many spells.

With that in mind, what are everyone’s thoughts on the following from the perspective of the health of the game,

Would it be more beneficial for the health of the game if weapons/spells that dropped at rarities over Common be limited to the effects of the rarity tier at a weapon’s/spell’s current level?

In other words, weapons would not gain their +1 attributes until being leveled to 15, +2 at 25, +4 at 35, and so on. Spells would be similarly limited in the bonuses granted to the secondary effect until reaching rarity keystone levels.

Functionally, I do not know how hard this would be to code. Would it be easier to make these weapons and spells get a “free pass” when reaching the evolution keystone levels that the Rarity of these things already exceed (example: an Epic spell gets a free pass at the level 5, 15, and 25 evolution keystone levels)?

1 Like

I think one think to add to this is the current limited amount of lesser shards. This can make leveling that epic or legendary very hard whereas the equivalent spell is insane.

Maybe there can be a tweak to weapon power based on rarity.

Given some more time I could think of some other solutions but I agree there is a disparity between weapons and spells.

1 Like

Are you farming only level 100 chests? That might be part of the problem. Lesser shards are very low level drops, but they do appear somewhat infrequently in higher level chest drops. Also, offensive shards seemly have become rare drops in 0.35, compared to other shard types.

Lesser shards are a lot more common than they used to be thanks to salvaging. I’m definitely not overflowing with lesser shards by any means, but the situation is a lot better than in 0.34 as salvaging 2* spell drops from ruby/diamonds chests definitely help.

On the other hand, the pendulum feels like it has swung way too far in the other direction on the offensive shard drops. While salvaging 1-3* weapon drops helps compensate a bit, Major and Superior weapon shards have become extremely hard to find. In a whole night of farming, I can expect to find a single bundle of weapon shards from each of those two rarities. They exist, but they are as rare now as what lesser accessory shards were in 0.34. At least in 0.34, a player could target a dungeon for specific shard drops. That went away in 0.35.

I am farming a combination of chest levels. I will definitely agree that lesser shards are much more common than .34.

I have seen that major and superior weapon shards seem to have dropped off dramatically since .34.

Shard economy still feels out of wack as I am swimming in minor and superior armor shards as well as superior minion shards.

I will be interested to see the impact on shards economy in .36

I’m not clear on how requiring both spells and weapons to be leveled to keystones, would change power balance, though. I could be missing something but it feels like the relationship would stay exactly the same? Or are we assuming it’s harder to level spells due to the number of them?

I think if there is a balance issue here between weapons and spells (and I’m not sure if there is) it’s mostly due to there being no “skull mastery.”

What I mean is this:
I have three heroes (all the same level) that all use the same weapon and all have the same power stat. The melee damage for the weapon (level 25) is 150 and 121 power is added to get to an identical 271 weapon damage for all three. One of these heroes cares about skull damage a lot more than the other two. But its a straight base dmg plus power equation.

Meanwhile, looking at just one generic spell, ray of frost…
On one hero the damage is 1182, on the next it is 722, and the other is 706. The difference is due to spell damage being modified not just by power but also by a multiple of elemental mastery.

So on my hero with the highest mastery, the damage for this spell is over 4 times my weapon damage. For the other 2 heroes it is about 2.5 times weapon damage.
On my lowest level hero, its exactly 2 times weapon damage.

1 Like

For me, this comes down to the issue that if a player looks at an item and, after taking in all inputs, says: functionally I’m satisfied with this item/gear/spell at Level 1, that is a problem. With spells, a large part of the problem is that the base values of spells and the growth rate along with power and the ability to chain spells for board control effectively make levelling the spell a luxury, not a necessity. The fact that spell shards are at a premium makes the decision that much easier. But doesn’t levelling up the spell gives you a better gear score that in theory decreases the “difficulty” of harder dungeons? Who cares, I just stun lock the board and with my level 1 spells that will take a few seconds longer to win matches than if I invested shards. I would hope this gets addressed in the future; perhaps then it would be easier to compare weapons vs spells.

I think this is a good idea. I’m always in favor of anything that incentivizes levelling. There should be a cost to unlock the benefits of higher rarity items besides just simply possession.

My view with tiered currency has been and will always be that currencies should be able to be used at and below their level. In other words, I should be able to use Superior shards to level up to and including the Max level allowable for that shard currency type. This allows me, the player, to farm the level of content that I am capable of and giving me the choice to use a “premium” currency for a lesser value without having to then go and farm undervalued content (low level dungeons for reduced gold/xp). This would not harm the shard economy functionality at all; in fact in games where I’ve seen this mechanism apply it’s actually better for the health of the economy because it keeps the churn going; instead of desperately needing 200 more Greaters while I’m sitting on 2000 Superiors and getting frustrated by having to choose between levels of content, I can use up my Superiors to level something entirely along the growth curve and then, “oh look I have hardly any Superiors left, better farm some more from my preferred level!” Asking a player for the next many years, to go back and farm level 15 skirmishes/dungeons because they are in desperate need of lesser shards is absurd.


My view on it goes a step further. Tiered currency like this shouldn’t be a thing at all. The economy would be much easier to balance if (one example) all spells used one type of shard. Instead of certain rarity needing a new currency tier, it would simply take a larger leap in the number needed per level.

However, if the developers just really love currencies, there should always be a method to convert the currencies both up and down. This would generally be done with a penalty “cost” to ensure that getting the correct tier is still a better option than converting.

I agree that higher tiered currency should at least count 1 for 1 as any lower tier.

1 Like

I think you bring up a good point on the leveling disincentive for spells. Leveling spells feels like a time and resource sink, not a true power growth is where the game falls.

Also I definitely agree that shards should be up or down leveled as needed. Paying a cost but using the resources you have feels better and the devs seem to heavily prefer a large number of currency.

It would be great if shards worked like dungeon marks, pay more for what you actually need in what is surplus

1 Like