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Discussing Vanilla Body Stats

  • h0lysatan's Avatar Heartbreaker 370 175 Posts Joined 12/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    This has been in my mind lately. And I hope there are no similar thread like this. So here goes.

    Vanilla body means, it's a minion with no effects written on the card.

    What would be the premium vanilla stats of a 1 mana (Class & Neutral Cards) would be? 2 mana? 3 mana? etc.

    We did have an example like Boulderfist Ogre being a 6 mana having 6/7 body. that means (n/n)+1 random stat would be the formula, but that does not work with Dire Mole being 1 mana having 1/3 body. this means (n/n)+2 random stats. and this is just neutral cards.

    If class cards, we have an example of Enchanted Raven being 1 mana having 2/2 body that the formula above is correct, but this means, Neutral and Class cards is the same regarding 1 mana cost. Tag doesn't matter too, since Dire Mole is beast too.

    or Northshire Cleric with 1/1/3 plus an effect would make a 1/2/3 or 1/1/4 vanilla class cards.

     

    Why do I create this thread, well, I need to analyze what makes Zilliax a 5 mana, had so much effects with a 3/2 body. Being a neutral card is too much I think.

    Discuss away..

    Knowledge is Power

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  • h0lysatan's Avatar Heartbreaker 370 175 Posts Joined 12/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    starting with 0 mana

    Since there are no 0 mana class cards, neutral cards will be the starting point of formula.

    0 mana having 1/1 body like Wisp, basically n/n + 2 random stats.

    0 mana having 0/2 Taunt body like Target Dummy, basically the same as above, while the Taunt effect can be equal 0 mana cost. (if the target has no attack). So Taunt effect is equal 1 random body stat.

    Knowledge is Power

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  • Echo's Avatar Content Squad Cupcake 370 152 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    The n/n+1 stat line is still pretty much the standard for most cases in my opinion as time and time again we've gotten cards that either has that exact statline or something similar, a la core beast or Captured Jormungar. The area where this rule falls apart, for the most part, are at very low mana costs and very high mana costs. Let's take the aforementioned Dire Mole for an example. There are already numerous 1 mana 1/2s in the game, even some with keywords, such as Goldshire Footman. These cards are pretty much all bad unless they have a strong ability because they just don't make enough impact on the board compared to a two-drop.  Blizzard realizes this and hence prints overstated 1 drops.

    The same thing can be applied to 10 mana cards as well. The only two vanilla 10 drops are Ultrasaur and Faceless Behemoth, both of which are unplayable (despite my efforts to make Ultrasaur playable). For that amount of mana, the payoff would need to be worth it, which a 10/11 (or the equivalent of 10/11 in stats) isn't.

    There's also occasionally cards that have a premium statline and ability, such as Kabal Talonpriest. These cards are made to push a certain class/archetype as at the end of the day, even vanilla statlines aren't enough to make a card worth running.

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  • OldManSanns's Avatar Explorer of Dragons 435 557 Posts Joined 08/05/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Quote From h0lysatan

    Why do I create this thread, well, I need to analyze what makes Zilliax a 5 mana, had so much effects with a 3/2 body. Being a neutral card is too much I think.

    Discuss away..

    Well honestly Zilliax is probably too good--hsreplay has him in 60% of all decks right now, and he's pretty much been like that since release.  If he was a classic card, he'd probably have lost divine shield years ago to make him a little less auto-include.  As is, I suspect Blizzard intentionally overtuned him because they wanted a big splashy magnetic legendary to promote Boomsday and they knew he'd rotate out of standard before too long so they didn't worry too much about how "fair" the card was compared against others so long as he didn't unbalance the meta--which he technically didn't, since he's a neutral and his effect is more of a prolong-the-game rather than close-it-faster.

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  • h0lysatan's Avatar Heartbreaker 370 175 Posts Joined 12/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    I even had to compare a few of legendary cards in order to get the perfect value of Divine Shield / Rush to body stat.

    such as Colossus of the Moon and Living Monument. This makes me realize that Rarity plays an important aspect on minions, because I don't think the value of mere Taunt is equal to Divine Shield + Reborn.

    So Legendary premium vanilla stats could've much more stats than Common or Rare vanilla cards. Maybe a difference of +2 or +3 stats.

    Knowledge is Power

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  • Bystekhilcar's Avatar 230 334 Posts Joined 09/02/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    Zilliax isn't an autoinclude because he's too good - he's an autoinclude because he's splashable. Design-wise you could argue that the two are the same thing, but from a pure balance perspective they're not.

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  • Zelgadis's Avatar Academy Sleuth 400 339 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    2*mana+1 is the base number of stat points, where attack, health, taunt and divine shield all cost one stats point.

    But minions that follow these base numbers almost never see play. Chillwind Yeti used to be a staple when only the Classic set was available, but not anymore. Spider Tank is the last base-statted minion I can think of that saw significant play, but that was because of its Mech tag.

    Abilities like windfury and lifesteal are costed differently depending on the stats, compare for example Young Dragonhawk, Thrallmar Farseer and Windfury Harpy.

    Northshire Cleric is too strong for its cost, but I guess that Priest being a weak class overall made it escape the nerf that Mana Wyrm did receive.

    As for Zilliax, I don't think he's overpowered when looking at the stat points for your mana. But the combination of stats and effects just works very well. It's like Azure Drake in that way.

     

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  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 495 473 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    From a physics perspective (similar to the maths one just with greater concern for the real system), the (n/n) + 1 formula is evidently incomplete. It should have an extra contribution for the inherent value of the card, since the cost of a card is not just its mana, but also a card itself.

    For most mana costs this value contribution is non-existent because playing a minion of vanilla stats it still meaningful when played off-curve. E.g. a Chillwind Yeti isn't a good turn 6 play, but it is still big enough that it would normally achieve something. But at 0 and 1 mana this is not true, and the odds are high that a late game Wisp actually does do nothing important. So playing a vanilla 0/1 mana card late in the game is not dissimilar to discarding a card. To compensate for this they get given additional stats.

    Mathematically the total vanilla stats could be written as 2n+1+(1/n!), rounded down.

    Regarding Zilliax, it is harder than you might hope to attribute a definite cost to a keyword. Certainly divine shield is worth more if you have high attack, while taunt is worth more with high health. Part of why Zilliax is OK is that its stats are so low that none of the keywords are abusive, but at the same time it is used so much because it does so many different things just about well enough to almost always be useful. The end result is that most decks can get decent but not crazy results out of him.

     

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  • doingtheobvious's Avatar 380 315 Posts Joined 06/01/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    Zilliax is fine at 5 mana. There are cards that do more than Zilliax should for less mana in both Standard and Wild alike.

    I do agree something should be done about power creep but targeting a card that is not oppressive is not the right step. At least, that's my opinion.

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  • h0lysatan's Avatar Heartbreaker 370 175 Posts Joined 12/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Quote From AngryShuckie

    Mathematically the total vanilla stats could be written as 2n+1+(1/n!), rounded down.

     

    Could you elaborate about your formula?

    0 drops would be 0/0 + 1 + (1/0 this is an infinite). 

    and 5 drops would be 5/5 + 1 (1/5 rounded down is 0) = 5/5 + 1 random stats?

    Knowledge is Power

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  • h0lysatan's Avatar Heartbreaker 370 175 Posts Joined 12/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    So, after much thought, and comparing, and probably wasting lots of time. I've come to a conclusion that 

    Zilliax is a 3/2 body with a 7-8 random stats, it could be a 5 drops 6/6 or 6/7 body in vanilla state, and that's okay, since there are rarity aspect in play. 

    Taunt being 1 stat, based on many 1 drops

    Divine Shield being 2 stats, again based on 1 drops

    Rush being 1 to 2 stats,

    Lifesteal being 2 stats,

    and Magnetize being 1 stat, since its a expansion mechanic.

    (one thing in mind, all of this comparison was based on neutral cards)

     

    go ahead and change my mind.

    Knowledge is Power

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  • Crusader2010's Avatar COMMENT_COUNT_25_HS 95 39 Posts Joined 05/30/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Quote From h0lysatan
    Quote From AngryShuckie

    Mathematically the total vanilla stats could be written as 2n+1+(1/n!), rounded down.

     

    Could you elaborate about your formula?

    0 drops would be 0/0 + 1 + (1/0 this is an infinite). 

    and 5 drops would be 5/5 + 1 (1/5 rounded down is 0) = 5/5 + 1 random stats?

    That's a factorial, which is never zero. 0! = 1 by convention. Not sure how correct the formula is since this game is anything but consistent (and they always push some power creep to force certain decks because that's how they designed it in the first place), but it might be close enough.

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  • RavenSunHS's Avatar Refreshment Vendor 690 1387 Posts Joined 03/27/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    Vanilla stats function is actually non-linear, as it works differently for (1), (2) and probably (3) too. It normalizes only from (4) and above.

    We should also consider that multple keywords REAL value (their impact) does not stack as a sum, but exponentially - and that's why Zilliax APPEARS to be balanced, but actually it is not (and that explains its popularity in both Standard and Wild).

    EDIT: actually, I don't think there is a reference function at all for any stats balance and keywords: designers just go by custom, their guts, and ultimately statistics...

    Nothing is balanced or broken on paper in their minds. So we can hardly make any point here.

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  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 495 473 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Quote From Crusader2010
    Quote From h0lysatan
    Quote From AngryShuckie

    Mathematically the total vanilla stats could be written as 2n+1+(1/n!), rounded down.

     

    Could you elaborate about your formula?

    0 drops would be 0/0 + 1 + (1/0 this is an infinite). 

    and 5 drops would be 5/5 + 1 (1/5 rounded down is 0) = 5/5 + 1 random stats?

    That's a factorial, which is never zero. 0! = 1 by convention. Not sure how correct the formula is since this game is anything but consistent (and they always push some power creep to force certain decks because that's how they designed it in the first place), but it might be close enough.

    The 1/n! term was really just trying to be as concise as possible to give 0 and 1 mana cards +1 stat. Of course there is no fixed rule, especially for non-vanilla cards.

    Fun fact: if you look up the Gamma function, which is a generalisation of the factorial to non-integers, you find 0!=1 isn't just convention but mathematically justified.

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  • h0lysatan's Avatar Heartbreaker 370 175 Posts Joined 12/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Quote From RavenSunHS

    actually, I don't think there is a reference function at all for any stats balance and keywords: designers just go by custom, their guts, and ultimately statistics...

    Nothing is balanced or broken on paper in their minds. So we can hardly make any point here.

    If by what you're saying is true, there lies Hearthstone problems with overpowered cards, (hence all the nerfs). For example like Corrupt Elementalist nerf, that it should show you how his stats and battlecry so strong in 5 drops, and I agree that it should be balanced at 6 drops.

    If there is some ground rules about making minions, I believe it should be pretty balance, and there would be no need for all that nerfs.

    I could be wrong too. But if it were up to me, I do think it's important to have rules about how minion stats should be.

    Knowledge is Power

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  • sinti's Avatar Global Moderator 1005 1776 Posts Joined 10/20/2018
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago

    Your biggest mistake is to think Blizzard puts the same value on an effect throughout the game lifespan. Not only do they "fine-tune" cards to suit their flavor, but they increase their power level on purpose in some occasions to make them stand out. Not easy to then compare the cards solely on their stats and effects and draw a definitive conclusion from that. 


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  • RavenSunHS's Avatar Refreshment Vendor 690 1387 Posts Joined 03/27/2019
    Posted 5 months, 4 weeks ago
    Quote From h0lysatan
    Quote From RavenSunHS

    actually, I don't think there is a reference function at all for any stats balance and keywords: designers just go by custom, their guts, and ultimately statistics...

    Nothing is balanced or broken on paper in their minds. So we can hardly make any point here.

    If by what you're saying is true, there lies Hearthstone problems with overpowered cards, (hence all the nerfs). For example like Corrupt Elementalist nerf, that it should show you how his stats and battlecry so strong in 5 drops, and I agree that it should be balanced at 6 drops.

    If there is some ground rules about making minions, I believe it should be pretty balance, and there would be no need for all that nerfs.

    I could be wrong too. But if it were up to me, I do think it's important to have rules about how minion stats should be.

    I totally agree, but sadly, that's not how the game is designed...

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  • MurlocAggroB's Avatar COMMENT_COUNT_350_HS 405 355 Posts Joined 06/12/2019
    Posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Quote From Zelgadis

    Spider Tank is the last base-statted minion I can think of that saw significant play, but that was because of its Mech tag.

    Nightmare Amalgam, but, again, that's only because of its splashability. It can be a midrange Dragon, or a midrange Murloc, or a midrange Elemental, or a midrange Beast, and it saw some play as all four of those (particularly in this set, what with all the dragon synergy).

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    Hmm. Turns out he's dead.

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  • h0lysatan's Avatar Heartbreaker 370 175 Posts Joined 12/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Quote From sinti

    Your biggest mistake is to think Blizzard puts the same value on an effect throughout the game lifespan. Not only do they "fine-tune" cards to suit their flavor, but they increase their power level on purpose in some occasions to make them stand out. Not easy to then compare the cards solely on their stats and effects and draw a definitive conclusion from that. 

    like I was saying, this is the nerfs often come from. The idea that there are no basic formula in deciding how minions work is gonna make nerfs happen more often.

    I know that there are some effects that are uncountable towards stats, like effects on Flik Skyshiv (No pun intended). And it could be the filter of Legendary cards. every card that can't be measured should be put there (or Epic if it's too many). And it's already standing out when some effects is very unique.

    so, back again, I do think minions should have a ground formula.

    Knowledge is Power

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  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 495 473 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Quote From h0lysatan
    Quote From sinti

    Your biggest mistake is to think Blizzard puts the same value on an effect throughout the game lifespan. Not only do they "fine-tune" cards to suit their flavor, but they increase their power level on purpose in some occasions to make them stand out. Not easy to then compare the cards solely on their stats and effects and draw a definitive conclusion from that. 

    like I was saying, this is the nerfs often come from. The idea that there are no basic formula in deciding how minions work is gonna make nerfs happen more often.

    I know that there are some effects that are uncountable towards stats, like effects on Flik Skyshiv (No pun intended). And it could be the filter of Legendary cards. every card that can't be measured should be put there (or Epic if it's too many). And it's already standing out when some effects is very unique.

    so, back again, I do think minions should have a ground formula.

    For neutral cards I largely agree they should follow some sort of guidelines on stats, and to be fair they generally do: For all the talk about power creep we still never get a 2 mana 3/3, 3 mana 4/4, 4 mana 5/5 etc without an effect that is detrimental unless used in a particular way. 

    With class cards I'm less sure a ground formula works. Sure they should use the same vanilla stats as an upper limit for minions with additional positive effects. If they don't then power creep will be much worse. But I think the number of stats lost for a given effect should depend on the class, because that is what makes one class good at something compared to other classes. Flik Skyshiv is a great example of this: rogue is designed to be the best at single target removal, so that effect reduces stats less than it would anywhere else. Similarly paladin is designed to have great healing, so is allowed Amber Watcher despite Antique Healbot being widely used in its day.

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