For a few weeks now, Kalø (an Epic Hero) has been the best Hero in the game — by an absurdly wide margin. When we ran the numbers a few days after his release, his win rate on Defense Teams was already three whole percentage points higher than the runner-up's. The situation has only worsened since. This was obviously not intended, and we've been forced to consider several options.
While part of his dominance was due to a bug with his Special Skill (it has been dealing an incorrectly high amount of damage when all of his allies are alive), we were also certain that fixing the bug alone would not be enough to return Kalø to a reasonable level of power.
As we've said in the March 2022 Balance Update, we’re all for seeing Epic Heroes punch above their weight when used in the right situation. However, we can't let a Hero's baseline power grossly exceed what is appropriate for their rarity.
We believe our nerf to Ferant in March was largely on point — Ferant's no longer unfairly eating Legendaries for breakfast, but he got to keep his unique counterattack AND remains an absolutely fantastic Epic Hero. Our vision for Kalø is similar: preserving the Special Skill's core fantasy but keeping its raw strength within reason.
The balancing act
As stated in our Beta FAQ, in most cases, live server data provides more than enough information for us to make well-informed post-release balance changes. But for Kalø, we felt that gathering yet another round of data from beta would help.
During the most recent Beta cycle, we tested for 4 days a version of Kalø with Very Slow mana speed AND the damage bug fixed. Similarly to when Kalø was first tested (pre-release), our testers' impressions were somewhat divided. But beta server data showed that even a drastic reduction to his mana speed would not be enough to balance this gargoyle.
Using additional metrics and internal testing tools, we have determined that additional tweaks would be necessary. Even with the changes below, Kalø should still remain a powerhouse.
- Mana speed:
Average→ Very Slow
- Direct damage:
- If no allies have fallen:
270%→ Deals double damage (=140%)
These changes will go live on 2022-05-25, 08:00 UTC. (For this update, the buffer period between announcement and deployment is a few hours shorter than usual due to technical considerations — our servers will be very busy during the War of the Three Kingdoms.)
Please also make sure to take this balance update into account when finalizing battle plans for the War of the Three Kingdoms. Your Defense Team will lock on 2022-05-25, 12:00 UTC!
As always, we will continue to keep an eye on live metrics to determine whether further adjustments will be necessary. Please refer to our Hero Balancing FAQ for why we occasionally make post-release balance adjustments. If you wish to share your feedback and discuss this update with fellow players, please feel free to join the discussion here.
Best of luck in the battles!