January 16th
Idle Champions: Midwinter 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

As the citizens of Longsaddle celebrate Deadwinter Day by exchanging gifts, the Champions have once again been hired by the Harpells to patrol the outskirts of town.

However, it appears as if one of Orcus' most feared abominations has been summoned to wreak havoc, a demonic fiend with an insatiable hunger...

Midwinter 2 runs until Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 12:00pm PST, introduces K'thriss Drow'b, Drow Warlock of the Great Old One, and also brings back Regis, the Halfling Rogue!

New Champion: K'thriss Drow'b

    Curious, affable, and morbid, the Drow heretic K'thriss Drow'b seeks the insane god-truth behind the veil of reality. As the "C" Team's hoardsperson, he keeps an eye out for occult relics that could aid him in his unearthly quest.
K'thriss is an unusual Support Champion. He reduces Gold Find to increase Global DPS, summons Shadow Demons to assist the party, and buffs distant allies. When you want to add K'thriss to your party, you can swap him with Bruenor (Slot 1).

For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: K'thriss dev blog!

Returning Champion: Regis

    As a poor urchin on the streets of Calimport, Regis quickly learned that survival often requires bending the rules in your favor. He fled to the north to avoid capture after stealing his former master’s magical ruby pendant. Eventually, he found companionship amongst the Companions of the Hall, becoming one of Bruenor Battlehammer’s most trusted confidants. Bruenor was the one who gifted Regis with the nickname “Rumblebelly” due to the halfling’s insatiable appetite.

    Regis would prefer nothing more than to relax in the sun with a full belly near his home in Ten-Towns and fish for knucklead trout, the source of all of his scrimshaw carvings. But when his friends need help, Regis is always there for them. He never sees himself as the hero, even though his true friends know better.

Regis is a Support Champion. He uses a magical ruby amulet to buff Champions in front of or behind him, and to make enemies weak to different types of damage. When you want to add Regis to your party, you can swap him with Celeste (Slot 2).

Year Two Variants

  • Velvet's Midwinter Adventure — K'thriss summons his unseen servant, Velvet, to help with party. Unfortunately, Velvet has been tasked with collecting gold for K'thriss, causing enemies to drop 50% less gold. K'thriss and Velvet both start in the formation, and once unlocked, K'thriss' Unseen Encouragement ability extends from both K'thriss normally, but also extends to those adjacent to Velvet.

  • Truth Beyond Knowing — K'thriss desires more knowledge of his unknowable god. Every area, a Drow Cultist empowered by the sign of the Ur appears, attacking with Chain Lightning. The Drow Cultist drops no gold upon death, but does drop a glyph (book). Every time you collect a glyph, Champions with an Intelligence (INT) score of 13 or higher have their damage increased by 5%, while Champions with below 13 INT have their damage go down by 5% for the remainder of the adventure.

  • More Like the Scream Team — The Devourer now arrives as a second boss in Area 25, and if that wasn't scary enough, the Devourer now devours Champions every 8 seconds instead of every 10 seconds!

Year One Variants

  • Deadwinter Date — You've been tasked with escorting two young Harpell wards on a date during your adventure. They take up slots and are otherwise pretty useless..

  • Deadwinter Fey — A large number of sprites and pixies spawn with each wave of enemies (not during boss areas). These extra monsters do not drop gold, and when killed they sprinkle a random Champion with pixie dust. Any champion that is sprinkled with 10 Pixie dust has their DPS and Formation Abilities disabled. Pixie dust stacks reset when you change areas.

  • Deadwinter Pay (-back) — Every time you defeat an enemy (in a non-boss area) your Champions take 10% unavoidable damage. Champions adjacent to Regis take one third of that damage while Regis himself is immune.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

January 15th
Idle Champion Spotlight: K'thriss Drow'b 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Today we're talking about our newest Champion: K'thriss Drow'b, the Drow Warlock of the Great Old One, and the latest addition to Idle Champions joining us from Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team!

K'thriss will be available in our next Year Two Event, Midwinter, which launches on Wednesday, January 16th. I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest Support champion.

Don't forget that Midwinter is also a chance to collect and gear up Regis, the Halfling Rogue from R.A. Salvatore's Legend of Drizzt novels!

How you can unlock K'thriss:

K'thriss is unlocked by playing Midwinter, a limited-time event launching on January 16th and running until January 28th at noon Pacific. Once you unlock K'thriss, he swaps with Bruenor and Deekin (Slot 1).

Who is K'thriss:

    Curious, affable, and morbid, the Drow heretic K'thriss Drow'b seeks the insane god-truth behind the veil of reality. As the "C" Team's hoardsperson, he keeps an eye out for occult relics that could aid him in his unearthly quest.
K'thriss is the second member of The "C" Team to join Idle Champions. His pal Donaar Blit'zen was the first back in October with Liars' Night 2. And yes, we will be looking to bring Walnut Dankgrass and Rosie Beestinger (who has an interesting connection to Strix) to the game in future updates. Stay tuned!


K'thriss' Design:

K'thriss was created by Kris Straub for the main-stage Aquisitions Inc games at PAX. Eventually he broke off from the main crew and joined his forever family: The "C" Team.

We chatted with Kris about what makes K'thriss tick and how best we could integrate him with the Champions. In the end, we landed on a quirky champion who supports the team by usurping a percentage of gold (he is a hoardsperson, after all) to buff party DPS, and helps those furthest away from him.


Base Attack - Dissonant Whispers: K'thriss telepathically whispers a discordant melody that damages and slows a random enemy.


Formation Ability: Hoardsperson: K'thriss' first formation ability unlocks his Acquisitions Inc role as Hoardsperson. As the Hoardsperson, K'thriss reduces gold find by 10% (causing cool pink coins to fall from all monsters that go directly to him. In exchange for taking 10% of the gold, K'thriss increases the damage of all Champions. In addition to that, every time K'thriss collect 75 of the cool coins, he summons a shadow demon. The demon attaches itself to the champion that does the lowest damage, and increases their damage to match the champion with the highest damage.

Formation Ability: Unseen Encouragement: K'thriss increases the damage of the Champion furthest from him by 200%. If there's a tie, all Champions furthest from K'thriss are buffed!

K'thriss' Specializations:

K'thriss' specializations are all about deciding whether the party needs him to focus on bringing his shadow demon along more often, or focus on buffing the Champion(s) furthest from him.

K'thriss' Ultimate Attack: Tentacular Spectacular

K'thriss' ultimate was a bit challenging, but we knew we wanted to bring our version of Tentacular Spectacular into the game. The big issue was making sure that he didn't look like a flasher when he executes his plan! With Tentacular Spectacular, K'thriss opens his cloak, revealing the inky black void underneath (is he even a person!?!). Then, tentacles sprout from the void, lashing out at enemies. What that means in our game is a hilarious cloak opening animation complete with jazz hands, followed by a SWARM of tentacles throughout the battlefield. It's really a sight to behold.


Kthriss' Equipment



Slot 1: Book of Shadows
  • K'thriss' thirst for knowledge increases the damage of all Champions.
Slot 2: Robe
  • Kthriss' cloak increases the damage of all Champions.
Slot 3: Hoardsperson Bag
  • His Acquisitions Incorporated mandated bag increases the effect of his Hoardsperson ability.
Slot 4: Velvet
  • K'thriss' Unseen Servant Velvet increases the effect of his Unseen Encouragement ability.
Slot 5: Ligotti
  • His sentient tentacle/pet increases the damage of his ultimate attack Tentacular Spectacular.
Slot 6: Tetrathanotic Key
  • The symbol of Ur reduces the cooldown of his ultimate attack Tentacular Spectacular.

Are there any other K'thriss details I should know?

K'thriss is Chaotic Neutral and a member of the Acquisitions Incorporated "C" Team. His stats are as follows:

Str: 8 Dex: 16 Con: 10 Int: 13 Wis: 10 Cha: 18


TL/DR: Final K'thriss Thoughts

K'thriss is a support champion focussed on increasing the overall DPS of your champions through his Shadow Demon via Hoardsperson and through his Unseen Encouragement abilities. He'll help slow enemies as they head to your formation, and he'll try to clear the board with his Tentacular Spectacular ultimate ability.

We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well he's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord! If you are enjoying K'thriss, consider checking out the "C" team broadcasts!


~The Idle Champions Team
January 9th
Idle Champions: Tomb of Annihilation, Part 8 
Posted in Idle Champions.

You've braved the undead hordes in the jungles of Chult, battled gargoyles to save Kir Sabal, vanquished the warlord Ras Nsi, and uncovered the mysteries of the Tomb of the Nine Gods. Acererak, the Soulmonger, and the unholy abomination it was giving life to, the Atropol, have been destroyed. The world has been saved — but you're not done yet! The Guardian of Orlunga needs your help....

This update brings the final two Adventures for the Tomb of Annihilation campaign along with a variant for each.

Note: The story may be ending, but that does not mean we are finished with the Tomb of Annihilation campaign! There will be additional difficult and extremely difficult variants added in the future, so keep farming Kelemvor's Favor!

The Guardian of Orlunga

The Champions journey to Orolunga seeking an audience with Saja N'baza, an ancient guardian. However, they soon discover that the Red Wizards of Thay have arrived first...

  • Variant: Think Your Way Out of It — Only Champions with an Intelligence (INT) score of 13 or higher can be used.

The Lost Love

Allies old and new come together to put a stop to a rising evil in the lost city of Mezro, with one companion making the ultimate sacrifice.

  • Variant: A Saurial's Lament — Dragonbait relives the loss of his friend in a haze. He accompanies the party but doesn't attack, and every 10 areas he gives off a different scent due to his grief, empowering enemies.

For more information, check out the in-game Change Log!
December 26th, 2018
Idle Champions: Wintershield 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

It's time for the Magical Talking Map to take the Champions on another adventure around Waterdeep to celebrate another Wintershield, marking the end of one year and the transition into the next!

This year the Champions are joined by a deadly and devout Cleric of Kelemvor, Nerys Kathon, ally to Minsc, Boo, Delina, and the Heroes of Baldur's Gate!

Wintershield 2 runs until Monday, January 7th, 2019 at 12:00pm PST, introduces Nerys Kathon, War Domain Cleric of Kelemvor, and also brings back Barrowin Undurr, the Gold Dwarf Cleric!

New Champion: Nerys Kathon

    Nerys Kathon joined the Heroes of Baldur's Gate on a mission to protect her church, but was soon pulled into a harrowing journey to Barovia and beyond. As a cleric of Kelemvor, she grew up in service to the dying and the dead, and developed a cold detachment to anything outside of duties to her faith. Beneath that frosty exterior is a loyal and caring adventurer, but it's a side she rarely shows to anyone outside her closest friends.
Nerys is a Support / Healer Champion. She uses her Spiritual Weapon ability to support DPS Champions, giving a powerful extra attack to the highest DPS Champion in the formation, while at the same time healing Champions within two spaces. When you want to add Nerys to your formation, you can swap her with Arkhan (Slot 12).

For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: Nerys dev blog!

Returning Champion: Barrowin Undurr

    A proud daughter of Clan Undurr and a devout follower of Gorm Gulthyn, the dwarven god of vigilance and duty. She spent fifteen years in the city of Ironmaster, in Icewind Dale, overseeing and protecting her family’s investment in the city’s lucrative mining operations. However, she saw little action and feared that her talents were being squandered. She has recently found a home within a budding organization called the Order of the Gauntlet, which vigilantly guards against the rise of evil in all its forms.

Barrowin is a Support / Healer Champion. She uses her Blessed Hammer ability to increase the power of Champion’s attacks through a stacking buff each time she attacks, while at the same time healing Champions in her column. When you want to add Barrowin to your formation, you can swap her with Tyril (Slot 10).

Year Two Variants

  • Dragons Are Wild — The Cult of the Dragon attempts to distract you by unleashing illusionary dragons within the walls of Waterdeep! Armored Bronze Dragon Wyrmlings spawn in each area. They do no damage and drop no gold.

  • A Waterdhavian Party — Now that you're a 'local' adventuring group, you've become a tourist attraction. Two Drunk Waterdhavians join your adventure, taking up slots in your formation and moving every 25 areas.

  • Once More with Necromancy — Nerys begins the adventure in your formation. Relentless Undead spawn in each area, attacking your formation. When Relentless Undead are killed, they get back up after three seconds and continue their attack. However, Relentless Undead killed by Nerys' Spiritual Weapon are destroyed for good.

Year One Variants

  • The Chatty Map — The map is extremely chatty. Every 15 seconds it engages in deep conversation with a random Champion in your formation, disabling their DPS and Formation Abilities for 15 seconds.

  • The Cult of Daggers — Dagger-throwing Cultists spawn alongside normal waves and toss daggers at random Champions in your formation. These additional monsters drop no gold.

  • Only the Strong Survive — Only Champions with a Strength stat of 13 or higher can be used.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

December 21st, 2018
Idle Champion Spotlight: Nerys Kathon 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Today, we're going to go into early detail on our newest Champion: Nerys Kathon, the Human Cleric of Kelemvor and the latest addition to the Heroes of Baldur's Gate!

Nerys will be available in our next Year Two Event, Wintershield, which launches on Wednesday, December 26th. I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest champion. But don't forget that Wintershield is also a chance to collect and gear up Barowin Undurr, the Dwarf Cleric from last year's Wintershield extravaganza!

How you can unlock Nerys:

Nerys is unlocked by playing Wintershield, a limited-time event launching on December 26th at noon Pacific and running until January 7th at noon Pacific. Once you unlock Nerys, she swaps with Arkhan, Zorbu, and Azaka (Slot 12)

Who is Nerys:

Nerys Kathon joined the Heroes of Baldur's Gate on a mission to protect her church, but was soon pulled into a harrowing journey to Barovia and beyond. As a cleric of Kelemvor, she grew up in service to the dying and the dead and developed a cold detachment to anything outside of duties to her faith. Beneath that frosty exterior is a loyal and caring adventurer, but it's a side she rarely shows to anyone outside her closest friends.

Nerys is a member of the Heroes of Baldur's Gate. A group of adventures known well throughout Baldur's Gate and the Sword Coast. Other members include Minsc (and Boo!), Delina, Krydle, and Shandie. Minsc & Delina are already in-game, and Krydle and Shandie may join them sometime in 2019...

The Heroes of Baldur's Gate have been featured in the IDW comic series' written by Jim Zub titled Legends of Baldur's Gate, Shadows of the Vampire, Frost Giant's Fury, and the most recent, Evil at Baldur's Gate which featured a variant cover on the back of issue 5 drawn by our very own Adam Kosh!


Nerys's Design:

Nerys was created by Jim Zub and Max Dunbar for the Shadows of the Vampire comic series and she's not your typical cleric. To quote Jim: "As a cleric of Kelemvor she sees to the dying and the dead and regards most pain with a sense of cold detachment even as she heals others and helps them deal with their own suffering." Nerys is a devout follower of Kelemvor, known as the God of the Dead. She firmly stands by the idea that death comes to all, and those that die should move on. Because of that belief, she is strongly against the concept of undead.


Max Dunbar created a Nerys image for twitter that coincided with our launch on consoles!

We chatted with Jim Zub about what makes Nerys tick and how best we could integrate her with the champions. In the end, we landed on a late-game healer who focuses on helping the team kill enemies and stay alive until it is their time to meet their maker.

Base Attack - Dash and Slash: Nerys cleaves all targets near the closest enemy.


Formation Ability: Spiritual Weapon: Nerys' first formation ability unlocks her companion, a spiritual weapon. The spiritual weapon takes the form of her greatsword and attacks with her, doing a high percentage of her damage.

Formation Ability: War Healing: Nerys' next formation ability unlocks her healing capabilities. As death comes to all, so too does it come to baddies. Whenever an enemy is killed, Nerys heals the most damaged Champion within 2 slots of her.

Formation Ability: Unholy: Nerys' next formation ability focuses on the type of enemies Nerys abhors: Undead. She increases the damage all champions do to undead monsters. She'll be a great addition to any Tomb of Annihilation adventure!

Formation Ability: Follow My Friend: Nerys' final formation ability breaks the mold of spiritual weapon a bit, but it works with the spirit of her character. Her Spiritual Weapon now follows the Champion with the highest DPS, doing a portion of THEIR damage instead of Nerys'! Once you unlock this upgrade, having Nerys in your party will be a huge DPS boost in addtion to having her added healing capabilities. Speaking of those:

Nerys' Specializations:

Nerys's specializations are all about deciding whether the party needs her to focus on healing or damage.

If you choose Dig In, Nerys will heal an additional time. Once when an enemy is reduced to 50%, AND again when it's killed! If you choose Kelemvor's Will, she increases the effect of her Spiritual Weapon, including when it's basing it's damage off of another Champions' DPS.

Nerys' Ultimate Attack: Tip the Scales


For Nerys' ultimate, we wanted to come up with something really fun. She jumps into the fray, unleashing a halo of divine energy. It hits all enemies and both decreases the damage of those enemies AND increases the damage the party does against all enemies (including newly spawned ones) for 30 seconds.

Nerys' Equipment



Slot 1: Greatsword
  • Nerys' main weapon increases the damage of all Champions.
Slot 2: Breastplate
  • Nerys' armor increases the damage of all Champions.
Slot 3: Eyeshadow
  • Her eyeshadow increases the effect of her Spiritual Weapon.
Slot 4: Cloak
  • Her cloak increases the effect of her War Healing.
Slot 5: Holy Symbol of Kelemvor
  • Her holy symbol increases her ultimate attack damage.
Slot 6: Barovian Locket
  • The locket that led to the Heroes of Baldur's Gate's adventures in Barovia reduces the cooldown of her ultimate attack.

What about any other Nerys details I'm looking for?

Nerys is Lawful Good and a member of the Heroes of Baldur's Gate. Her stats are as follows:
Str: 16 Dex: 13 Con: 15 Int: 12 Wis: 17 Cha: 15

TL/DR- Final Nerys Thoughts

Nerys is a is a strong, smart, and brave cleric of Kelemvor. She'll heal damaged Champions whenever you kill an enemy, increase the Champions' damage against undead monsters, and uses her Spiritual Weapon to boost the DPS of the highest DPS Champion in your formation.

We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well she's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord! If you are enjoying Nerys, consider checking out the Legends of Baldur's Gate comic series by IDW!

Happy Holidays Champions Fans! Thanks for an amazing 2018! We can't wait to start 2019 with all of you!

~The Idle Champions Team
December 19th, 2018
Idle Champions: New Campaign Variants 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Just in time for the holidays, we have an update featuring new challenging variants for adventures in the Grand Tour of the Sword Coast and Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaigns!

From a variant for the strongest Champions to an adventure for the elite group Force Grey, there's a little something for everyone with these seven(!) new variants!

Grand Tour of the Sword Coast Variants

  • Escort to Waterdeep: The Long Haul — Only Champions with a Strength score of 14 or higher may be used.

  • Waterdeep Detours: Rude Welcome — Additional citizen 'monsters' attack the party with each wave: Butcher, Baker, and Candlestick Maker, each with their own unique abilities.

  • Underdeep Cartography: Expert Opinion — Volothamp Geddarm takes up a slot in the formation, reducing the damage of adjacent Champions.

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Variants

  • A Mysterious Summons: Force Grey Unleashed — You begin the adventure with Calliope in your formation. Only Champions affiliated with Force Grey may be used.

  • Building Trust: Sleuth it Out — Only Champions with an Intelligence score of 12 or higher may be used.

  • A Dinner Party: Modron Assistance — Nordom the Modron joins you on this adventure, taking up a slot in your formation. Nordom is reminding the waterdhavians of the Great Modron March, inspiring them to defend Waterdeep. Damage caused by humanoid monsters in this adventure is increased.

  • A Botched Kidnapping: Domesticated Owlbears — A crazed Owlbear attacks the party in each area, stunning a random Champion.

For more information, check out the in-game Change Log!
December 5th, 2018
Idle Champions: Simril 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

A Simril Spoilsport has been pillaging the food stores around the outskirts of Luskan!

We may be gearing up for the holidays, but the Champions have some work to do first: find and stop this festive food thief and make sure the Luskans have enough provisions for the long, cold Sword Coast winter.

Simril 2 runs until Monday, December 17th at 12:00pm PST, introduces Warden, the Warforged Hexblade Warlock, and also brings back Dhadius the Scarlet, the Human Wizard!

New Champion: Warden

    Forged to be the jailer for a prison filled with eldritch horrors in a faraway land, Warden became corrupted by the monstrosities they sought to keep locked away. Now they journey at the behest of an otherworldly master, seeking souls for the insatiable Dark Hunger to corrupt and feast upon.
Warden is a DPS and Support Champion, corrupted by their Hexblade, the source of their otherworldly strength. At the same time, it is also from this Hexblade that the Elder Evils of Realmspace have laid their claim to Warden, infesting their body with eldritch malignancy. They use their Hex ability to curse enemies, debuffing them and causing them to take additional damage for each stack of the Hex curse they are afflicted with.

When you want to add Warden to your formation, you can swap them with Jamilah (Slot 11).

For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: Warden dev blog!

Returning Champion: Dhadius the Scarlet

    Dhadius is a mage of legendary status and acclaim (at least, in his own mind), who sees everyone else as intellectual worms. Being an egomaniac, he seeks out esoteric lore and rare magical secrets, so he may know things that the 'common fools' do not.

    Dhadius hails from Luskan in the north, where he is a member of the Arcane Brotherhood, an infamous group of wizards. He joined them only recently and hasn't been taken as seriously by the others as he thinks he should be. He's determined to let it be known far and wide that he is a wizard to be respected and feared.

Dhadius is an arrogant Wizard and Support Champion. His Skill Empowerment ability increases the damage of nearby Champions - if they are intelligent enough.

When you want to add Dhadius to your formation, you can swap him with Calliope (Slot 5).

Dhadius Updates

With this update Dhadius has received the following changes he so rightfully deserves:
  • Dhadius' Magic Missile Barrage ultimate attack now fires an additional 5 magic missiles

  • Skill Empowerment upgrades at level 500 and 610 are now +200% instead of +100%

  • Dhadius now earns a new ability at level 525: Chromatic Specialist. This causes Dhadius' chance to fire the same orb to be higher (33% * 1.5 = 50% chance to repeat the same orb)

Year Two Variants

  • Unlucky Hunters — Local beasts do not take kindly to the Champions trespassing upon their land. Beasts deal increased damage, and their hides are thickened like armor.

  • Frostbitten — The thickness of the falling snow in outdoor areas increases as the adventure goes on. Champions on the outside of the formation deal less damage the further they go due to the cold weather.

  • Unspeakable Horrors — Warden begins in your formation. Starting in the first area and continuing every 25 areas after, you lose a formation slot to creeping eldritch horrors. For each tentacle taking up a slot in the formation, Warden's damage is increased.

Year One Variants

  • Frightful Weather — In areas where it is snowing (excluding boss areas), the party takes damage every second.

  • Light in the Darkness — Several slots in the formation are taken up by floating magical torches.

  • A Wise Endeavour — Only champions with a wisdom score of 13 or higher – and of course, Dhadius – may be used.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

December 3rd, 2018
Idle Champion Spotlight: Warden 
Posted in Idle Champions.

During The Last War, House Cannith designed and constructed the ultimate prison: a vast underground complex built to entomb alien and extraplanar threats. Complete with its own Creation Forge and led by an immortal warforged named Warden, this complex was intended to keep these otherworldly threats imprisoned until the end of days.

Unfortunately, even the great minds of House Cannith could not have imagined that the end of days would come so soon...

Welcome everyone to our Idle Champion Spotlight for Warden, our new Skirmisher Warforged Hexblade Warlock Champion for Simril Year Two!

I. Warden's Story

    Forged to be the jailer for a prison filled with eldritch horrors in a faraway land, Warden became corrupted by the monstrosities they sought to keep locked away. Now they journey at the behest of an otherworldly master, seeking souls for the insatiable Dark Hunger to corrupt and feast upon.
Warden is a DPS and Support Champion, corrupted by their Hexblade, the source of their otherworldly strength. At the same time, it is also from this Hexblade that the Elder Evils of Realmspace have laid their claim to Warden, infesting their body with eldritch malignancy. They use their Hex ability to curse enemies, debuffing them and causing them to take additional damage for each stack of the Hex curse they are afflicted with.

When you want to add Warden to your formation, you can swap them with Jamilah (Slot 11).

II. Character Stats

Race: Warforged Class: Warlock (Hexblade) Alignment: Chaotic Evil
STR: 14 DEX: 16 CON: 12
INT: 8 WIS: 11 CHA: 18

For more info, check out Warden's D&D Beyond Character Sheet!

III. The Initial Idea

Believe it or not, the design for Warden actually began with a Triton Storm Sorcerer I called 'Solinus'.

When Chris asked me if I wanted to design the Simril 2 Champion, I immediately accepted. How often does one get the opportunity to design a character in a video game? That's an item to check off the bucket list! But of course, there was a catch — Chris gave me a set of criteria to follow...

    "Here are my high level marching orders for the Warforged character if you're still interested in taking a stab at design:

    • A non-named, non-lore character. Think Stoki: Krond: and Gromma. Let's make an awesome CNE hero.

    • Should work with Krond. Re: Either be Evil or have Str +16.

    • Non-binary gender.

    • Keep in mind the story design doc: Adjacent champions are Vlahnya (bard), and Nerys (cleric).

    • Cannot fit into slot 5 (Dhadius, the other event champion) or 6 (Krond, so they can work with them).

    • I'll need first pass design done by Tuesday the 30th (of October).

    • Focus on a mechanic that the players will like, but keep it simple. 1-2 formation abilities, and Specializations that don't diverge as much as our other characters."

Well, that put an end to Solinus! And being a Triton. But maybe a Storm Sorcerer could still work. I knew I wanted at least one ability that pulled ranged enemies to the front of the formation, and aside from that I just wanted to make sure that I was as close to D&D 5E as possible.

To put it simply: I struggled. Storm Sorcerers are awesome, and I played around with the idea of using a cantrip like Lightning Lure to pull enemies to the front of the formation, and pretty much every other positional spell or ability that Sorcerers have access to. In the end, they all just felt wrong with a Warforged, perhaps because one of my recent characters, 0N1X, is a Tempest Domain Cleric and this felt too similar. It actually wasn't until I abandonned the idea of a Sorcerer that I was able to make some real progress.

As soon as I considered making a Warlock (our most under-represented class!) and making them a Hexblade (my favourite subclass in 5E!) it all started to click. More attacks? Thirsting Blade. Area of Effect damage? Cloak of Flies. Pulling enemies to the front of the formation? ARMS OF HADAR! (not a perfect fit, I know, but thematically, tentacles + void worked for me)

The initial design came together over the course of a few hours, and there was the basic idea: Warden, the Skirmisher Warforged Hexblade Warlock, was a DPS who would support the party by casting Hex on enemies, which could then spread to other enemies. He was perfect for Slot 9 (Makos)!

Or so I thought. After putting the pieces together and doing the math, Justin and Chris elected to move Warden from Slot 9 to Slot 11 (Jamilah). Their reasoning was that they didn't want to have Warden compete with Makos for a spot with Krond, and that Warden's design was better-suited to Slot 11 where Jamilah and Strix have very limited capabilities as Support Champions.

IV. Art

I want to acknowledge Katherine Crane, our artist who drew and animated everything Warden. Kat did a fantastic job with incredibly vague information from myself, Chris, Justin, and Adam when it came to Warden's design and aesthetic. When designing Warden, the description I gave Chris first was:

    As a general character I had pictured a lean, warped Warforged decked out in an ominous but shabby cloak. Like the warforged version of an undead in terms of skeletal and spiky bits of metal and writhing with eldritch corruption.
As you can tell, that's not a lot to go on - and Warden doesn't have any spikes. When Kat put together the first iteration of Warden, complete with spiky armor and more cloak, it just didn't work. It was missing something.



We threw (probably too many) ideas at Kat, but what stuck was the core aspects of Warden's aesthetic: the organic components of the warforged body have been replaced by some kind of writhing eldritch tentacles, and Warden's magic items are now a part of their visual. We're pretty happy with the result!

You can find more of Kat's art online at www.twitter.com/TehArtMonkey and www.instagram.com/TehArtMonkey. Check it out!

V. Design

As one might expect, Warden's basic attack is with their pact weapon, an Armblade made with their Hexblade. It is an artifact of profound otherworldly corruption that has now grown across and inside Warden's body. Now they are held together as much from these insidious tendrils as they are from the composite plating they were initially constructed with.

Warden’s design revolves around Hex: cursing/debuffing enemies to make them weaker, and then attacking and killing them to spread Hex around further. Formation abilities unlock Hex, increase the number of attacks Warden is able to make (Thirsting Blade), and cause Hex to spread more quickly and easily (Master of Hexes). Finally, the final formation ability, Relentless Hex, allows Champions to deal even more additional damage to targets cursed by Hex by allowing the curse to stack(!).

    Formation Abilities

  • Hex — Warden casts a Hex curse on enemies before attacking them, debuffing them and causing them to take increased damage from all Champions.

  • Thirsting Blade — Whenever Warden Attacks, they attack the same enemy twice.

  • Master of Hexes — Enemies that die while afflicted with the Hex curse now spread it to all nearby enemies.

  • Relentless Hex — Hex can stack up to four times on each enemy.

VI. Specializations

Specializations for Warden go in one of two directions: further buffing their single target damage and adding a chance to stun (Eldritch Smite), or giving them a way to do extra AoE damage whenever they attack (Cloak of Flies). My personal favourite is Eldritch Smite because Warden's Hexblade transforms into a colossal Greataxe for the final attack, a bit of a subtle nod to Improved Pact Weapon as well as just being something really flavorful and awesome.

  • Eldritch Smite — After Warden attacks an enemy, they attack the same enemy again an additional time with Eldritch Smite, dealing additional damage with a chance to stun the enemy.

  • Cloak of Flies — Whenever Warden attacks, they do an additional AoE damage attack around them.


Kat did a wonderful job of Warden's attack-into-Eldritch-Smite animation!


VII. Ultimate Attack

Finally, Warden’s ultimate ability is Hunger of Hadar, where they open up a rift to the void at the front of the formation and a swarm of tentacles grasps all enemies, pulling them into a cluster and damaging and stunning them. Thematically it speaks to the otherworldly power that Warden accesses through their growing connection to the Elder Evils, but this spell is intended more to be pure utility: players have long wanted a way to grab ranged enemies and pull them to the front of the formation, and now they can!

This ability was initially designed to be Arms of Hadar instead, but the scale of the effect we wanted to achieve was too large for that spell. Instead, we have somewhat combined both Arms of Hadar and Hunger of Hadar into one spell.
    Note: Hunger of Hadar will pull ranged enemies to within range of Strix's Poor Hygiene ability. The downside being that you can't have both Warden and Strix in the formation at the same time. #BlameChris #BlameJustin

VIII. Equipment

I had a lot of fun putting Warden's equipment sheet together. This time around, rather than having the more weathered or decrepit versions of different pieces of equipment at lower rarities, the grey/common and green/uncommon versions are now more pristine and new compared to higher rarities. Now the rare/blue and epic/purple versions are the most vile and corrupt versions of each item.

The item descriptions/flavor text owe a lot to the works of HP Lovecraft and Clive Barker, and of course, to Keith Baker and everyone else who has contributed to building the world of Eberron.

Can you spot all the references? (I know you can't see them here, because these screenshots were taken from the Dev server, but you will be able to read them all in-game)



IX. Final Thoughts

So there you have it! From the not-really-that-deep depths of my mind, I pulled an incredibly-evil, Lovecraftian war robot for Idle Champions players to play with. The idea behind their final kit is that they can fulfill the role of a boss-killer with Eldritch Smite, attacking the boss multiple times and stunning them while stacking up Hex.

I hope you enjoy Warden as much as I did making them! Feel free to send us feedback on via the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord!
November 29th, 2018
Idle Champions: Tanking, Healing, and Offline Gold 
Posted in Idle Champions.

It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here: the Tanking, Healing, and Offline Gold Update!

Many of these changes were discussed during Monday's Tanking & Healing Dev Blog. However, there are far more details below for anyone interested in digging in!

Note: the full list of changes is included in the in-game Change Log.

I. Features

  • This update includes major changes to champion health, healing amounts, and monster damage. See the balance changes section for more details.

  • Added new upgrades for all champions up to approximately e49 gold spent.

  • The front-end now checks for invalid/no longer valid upgrades when loading champion data from the server. It will also purchase all unbought upgrades up to your champions' current level on load. This is to ensure that all new/changed upgrades are immediately available and to fix an edge case where you could miss out on upgrades by switching to the gamepad UI without having purchased earlier ones.

  • Shield amounts are now shown on the character sheet.

  • Shift clicking the area selector's left arrow goes to the first 5 areas. Shift clicking the area selector's right arrow goes to the highest unlocked area.

  • Gamepad UI has been massively improved (Still in BETA)

  • Hotkey F to show familiar slots. Clicking a slot with F held will assign an available familiar to that slot. Clicking the familiar button with F held will unassign all familiars. (Steam only)

II. Balance Changes

  • Monsters in all campaigns now only increase their damage when the adventure story resets (eg. in areas 51, 101, 151, etc.); Monster damage is increased by 75% at each of these breakpoints.

  • Champions' base health values have been completely rebalanced. Champions have been divided into four general categories: squishy, tanky non-tank, general tank, and durable tank. The Champion's category, plus the champions' con score, armor class, and bench slot, now determine each Champions' base health.

    • Squishies (no bonus): Asharra, Azaka, Birdsong, Calliope, Catti-brie, Celeste, Deekin, Delina, Dhadius, Diath, Drizzt, Farideh, Hitch, Ishi, Jarlaxle, Makos, Minsc, Nrakk, Regis, Stoki, Strix, Vlahnya, Zorbu.

    • Tanky Non-Tanks (~x2 base health): Barrowin, Binwin, Bruenor, Donaar, Jamilah, Krond, Wulfgar.

    • General Tanks (~x3 base health): Evelyn, Nayeli, Arkhan.

    • Durable Tanks (~x4 base health): Gromma, Tyril.

  • Champions' health no longer increases as you level them up, only from upgrades, formation abilities, or other buffs.

  • We've created a new outgoing Global DPS/Formation Ability curve that maps total gold spent on a hero to their relative Global/FA buff amounts. We've applied this curve to the Champions that have been rebalanced in this update, and will apply it to all other Champions in a future balance pass. In general this will result in a decent increase to the buffing ability of Champions in later seats and a small nerf to the buffing ability of Champions in earlier seats.

  • Champions will now get an "overwhelmed" debuff when more than 15 enemies are attacking them (using the same definition of "attacking them" as other effects). The debuff causes them to take 10% more damage from monsters for each enemy attacking them above 15 (10% at 16 attackers, 100% at 25 attackers, 200% at 35 attackers, 250% at 40 attackers, 850% at 100 attackers, etc.). Some champions have abilities that increase the starting point or decrease the debuff. This debuff shows up as a FA icon on champions who are being overwhelmed.

  • We've updated the formula that calculates your party DPS to be much more accurate, taking into effect things like Minsc's favored enemy, Barrowin's hammers, and Regis' damage type bonuses. This has resulted in ultimate abilities getting a healthy damage boost.

  • Additional, as a result of the party DPS formula changes, offline gold, gold found in silver chests, gold from distractions, and gold from bounty contracts should now be more in line with gold earned while actively playing.

  • Monsters and bosses now enrage slower and ramp up their damage bonus slower; effects that increase based on # of monsters attacking also ramp up along with enrage bonuses.

  • We've done a pass through several adventures looking for monsters that are broken/OP/UP under the new champion health values. We may have missed some, so let us know if something seems unfair or underpowered!

  • The Chained Up Ogre now attacks from slightly further away and does 40% more damage than other bosses.

  • Monsters that attack with Fireball do 20% more damage than other monsters.

  • Monsters that attack from range now do damage that is more comparable with melee monsters.

  • Reduced the damage of the Lich and Father Kendra bosses.

  • The Stone Juggernaut now attacks from further away and does less damage.

III. Champion Updates

You'll find the full list of Champion updates for this patch below. We are very excited to hear what you think of these changes! Feel free to jump onto the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord and give us your feedback.

Celeste

Not much change to Celeste. We reworked her healing numbers to match the new tanking/healing curves and reduced the difference in healing/buffing between her two specializations so they can both be used depending on whether you need just a bit more damage or just a bit more healing (this brings her general design closer to more recent heroes, whose specializations have a smaller impact on their overall power).
  • Mass Cure Wounds base healing amount reduced from 10 to 3 (6 with the Life Domain specialization; improved by gear -- see below).

  • Reduced the base values of Celeste's healing loot from 25/87.5/150/275% to 10/30/50/100%.

  • Reworked all of Celeste's upgrades that improved Mass Cure Wounds. Removed about 20 and re-positioned the remaining 6 among her levels up to 950.

  • All upgrades to Crusader's Mantle no longer require the War Domain specialization, meaning that between the two specs Crusader's Mantle's total value is much closer (just x2 from Life Domain to War Domain).

  • Removed some of the global DPS upgrades that were associated with Life Domain and overlapped with War Domain spec upgrades.

  • Celeste's healing achievement now requires only 20e6 health healed, down from 1e9, but it now only tracks effective healing and not wasted healing. The achievement has been reset for all players, but those of you who completed the old achievement will find it in the Legacy Achievements category.

Nayeli

We're pretty happy with how Nayeli works as a tank. We simply reworked her health to match the new tanking/healing curve and reduced the difference in buffing/tanking between her two specializations so they can both be used depending on whether you need Nayeli to buff a bit more or take a few more hits before dying (this brings her general design closer to more recent heroes, whose specializations have a smaller impact on their overall power). We also added a new tank-specific formation ability to Nayeli to help her protect the group against AOE damage in later areas.
  • Oath of Devotion now increases Nayeli's health by 70, down from 300,000; it also moves her from a low end General Tank to a Durable Tank, providing at least 50% more health on average with her subsequent health increases.

  • Replaced all health increasing upgrades and moved them around. There are now less health upgrades and they increase Nayeli's health by less. Nayeli also now receives health upgrades regardless of her spec, however she receives smaller upgrades with Oath of Vengeance compared to Oath of Devotion.

  • All of the upgrades to Aura of Courage no longer require the Oath of Vengeance specialization, meaning that between the two specs Aura of Courage's total value is much closer (just x2 from Oath of Devotion to Oath of Vengeance).

  • We have removed Nayeli's taunt upgrade. We like the general idea of the taunt and may add it back in a future balance update.

  • Reduced the base values of Nayeli's health increasing gear from 25/87.5/150/275% to 10/30/50/100%.

  • Nayeli's attack cooldown has been reduced to 6.7 seconds from 8 seconds.

  • Nayeli's STR and CON stats have both been improved to 16 (from 15 and 13 respectively).

  • Reduced the effect of Nayeli's level 55 global DPS upgrade from 200% to 100%, but added a completely new 100% global DPS upgrade at level 550 to compensate. Overall this bring's Nayeli's buffing ability in line with other support champions.

  • Aura of Protection now also stacks when enemies or bosses begin to enrage. It counts each enrage increase as one additional attacking enemy.

  • Added an upgrade at level 280 with Oath of Devotion spec that increases the max health of all other Champions in the formation by a 25% of Nayeli's max health. This includes other tanks (4 tanks in formation ~= tank-health level squishies and double-health tanks).

  • Nayeli's tanking achievement now only requires 40e6 damage taken, down from 1e12. The achievement has been reset for all players, but those of you who completed the old achievement will find it in the Legacy Achievements category.

Calliope

Calliope's shields are quite powerful at delaying the death of tanks, especially under the new tanking/healing curves. As such, when a Champion is shielded by Calliope there is now a 15 second cooldown before they can be affected by her shield again. Calliope's ultimate overrides this limitation, and the shields still last until they are broken. College of Lore, instead of increasing the amount of her shields, now decreases the new cooldown by 5 seconds to 10 seconds total, meaning you can shield more often. The difference in subsequent upgrades between College of Valor and College of Lore has been removed, so that the two specializations are simply a choice between more frequent shields or slightly higher Bardic Inspiration buffs (this brings her general design closer to more recent heroes, whose specializations have a smaller impact on their overall power). Calliope emerges as a decent death delayer, and one of the few healer-types who can protect the majority of the formation from incidental damage.
  • Song of Protection base value is now 100, down from 250.

  • Replaced all upgrades to Song of Protection and moved them around. There are now far less upgrades and they all increase Song of Protection by much less. Removed approximately 18 upgrades and the remaining 6 have been distributed among Calliope's levels up to 1030.

  • All upgrades that previous only unlocked if you chose the College of Valor specialization now unlock under College of Lore as well. Two upgrades that you previously only got under College of Lore have been removed.

  • Calliope's "bracers" loot items (increase Song of Protection amount) have had their base values reduced from 25/87.5/150/275% to 10/30/50/100%.

  • Fixed a bug where Song of the Protection's base value was being doubled when applied via her ultimate.

  • Calliope's "bag" loot items now increases her ultimate damage, instead of further increasing the Song of Protection amount.

  • Calliope's shield now has a 15 second cooldown before it can be applied to the same Champion again. She tries to cast it every 1 second.

  • Calliope's College of Lore specialization now decreases the cooldown of Calliope's shield by 5 seconds (to 10 seconds total).

  • Calliope's shielding achievement now only requires 60e6 damage shielded, down from 1e27. The achievement has been reset for all players, but those of you who completed the old achievement (hah! not likely!) will find it in the Legacy Achievements category.

Tyril

Tyril's original Wild Shape design had him creating big damage shields for himself with his ultimate, allowing him to survive much longer than he otherwise would have. This design has been refined in the rework. His ultimate attack now does AOE damage, and the shield it generates is a percentage of his max health times the number of enemies he hit, with bonuses for enemies killed. Time his ultimate correctly and he can create a shield that will allow him to tank for an extended period of time. We've of course adjusted his health increases to match the new tanking/healing curve, though he'll only gain tank-level health in Wild Shape spec. Tyril is essentially two completely different champions, depending on the spec you pick, so we've thrown some love at his Moonbeam spec as well and changed the way Moonbeam scales based on adjacent Champions. Moonbeam also has more, larger upgrades, making Tyril more competitive with Barrowin in more situations. His Moonbeam spec heal has also been rebalanced to match the new tanking/healing curves. Finally, Tyril's new "Forces of Good" ability ramps up the damage of your "Good" champions when he's under attack or the enemies are enraging.
  • Wild Shape now increases Tyril's health by 265 (down from millions).

  • Wild Resistance now only decreases damage taken by 10 (down from millions). It cannot reduce damage below 25% of the initial damage (up from 5%).

  • Upgrades that affected Tyril's max health (Wild Shape only), Druidic Healing (Moonbeam only), and Wild Resilience (Wild Shape only) amounts have been rebalanced to the new tanking/healing curve. Approximately 24 upgrades were removed, and the other 13 were redistributed and rebalanced.

  • Tyril's base attack cooldown in human form has been lowered to 4.7 seconds. It remains at 6.2 seconds in bear form.

  • Increased Tyril's first global dps upgrade to give him an early game boost, added another 100% global dps upgrade at level 1000, and added and boosted several other upgrades for Moonbeam; Tyril's buffing ability now matches that of other buffers based on his total invested gold.

  • Tyril's Wild Shape increases his "overwhelmed" starting point to 25.

  • Moonbeam is now reduced by 0% for having 1 adjacent champion, 10% for 2 adjacents, 40% for 3 adjacents, 70% for 4 adjacents, and 90% for 5 or more adjacents.

  • Tyril's ultimate attack with his Wild Shape spec (Shielding Bite) now does AOE damage in a small radius. After his attack, he creates a shield that is his max health times the number of enemies hit. Enemies that were killed by the attack count for triple. So for example, if his bite hits 10 enemies but only kills 2, he gains a shield that is his max health x14 (8x1 + 2x3). Note this shield still degrades by 1% of its original value per second, meaning that it expires after 100 seconds at the latest. The shield continues to degrade even if Tyril is benched, but doesn't degrade while changing areas/watching cinematics. If you use his ultimate again before the previous ultimate shield expires, the new shield overrides the previous shield completely, unless it would generate a smaller shield than what Tyril has remaining from the old one.

  • Tyril's "Shielding Fury" achievement has been restructured. Now requires Tyril to create a shield greater than 50x his max health. The achievement has been reset for all players, but those of you who completed the old achievement will find it in the Legacy Achievements category.

  • Tyril's equipment has been adjusted. Slot 1 has been changed from Self DPS loot into max health increasing loot (10/30/50/100). Slot 2 has been changed from Self DPS loot to Global DPS loot. Slot 4 has been changed from Buff Moonbeam/Wild Shape to Buff Moonbeam/Wild Inspiration (both formation buffs). Slots 3, 5, and 6 are unchanged in this balance pass.

  • Added a new buff that unlocks if you choose the Wild Shape specialization. "Wild Inspiration" increases the damage of all Champions within 2 slots of Tyril by X%. It is much less of a buff than a well-placed Moonbeam, but still enough to make Tyril a decent buffer while tanking, assuming you can lay out your formation correctly. Various upgrades have been added to Tyril's upgrade tree to buff this ability.

  • Added a new formation ability called "Forces of Good" that increases the damage of all "Good" champions in the formation for each enemy attacking Tyril (and/or each boss/monster enrage stack active). This FA is only available when you choose Tyril's Wild Shape spec.

  • Added an upgrade to Tyril's Wild Shape spec that increases the max health of all other Champions in the formation by a 25% of Tyril's max health. This includes other tanks (4 tanks in formation ~= tank-health level squishies and double-health tanks).

Arkhan

We wanted to use this opportunity to completely redesign Arkhan, morphing him into the bad-ass group-leading force of nature that he is in his tabletop appearances, and always was intended to be in our game. To that end, we've redesigned him with the idea of a "Tank DPS" in mind. We've removed nearly all of his existing abilities ("First in Line", "Loyalty", "Chango Unchained", "Chango Restrained") and replaced them with new ones. With "Rage of the Dragonborn," Arkhan's damage ramps up drastically when more enemies are attacking him by changing his attack to hit more and more enemies -- for example, Flame Breath becomes his basic attack when 16 or more enemies are targeting him! Through his brand new specializations, Arkhan's damage is increased in ways that no other Champions' are. "Bulk Up" increases the effect of formation abilities that target him, and "Usurped Power" causes positional formation abilities that target champions adjacent to Arkhan to *also* target him, regardless of their normal restrictions. A new formation ability called "Rising Anger" increases the damage of evil champions when Arkhan is under attack (go go Krond!). Finally, we've adjusted Arkhan's gear to better suit his new build, including giving him the game's very first Gold Find loot item. We hope that with these changes, Arkhan could conceivably be used to build some very interesting formations.
  • Arkhan's level cost curve has been reduced from 68% per level to 28% per level. This gives us more levels to work with for the same gold cost.

  • Removed the First in Line and Loyalty formation abilities/upgrades, along with the Chango Unchained/Restrained specializations. Also removed Arkhan's gold increasing upgrades (but don't worry, his new equipment more than makes up for it).

  • Reworked Arkhan's health increasing upgrades to match the new tanking/healing curves. Also added some additional upgrades that increase Arkhan's health at higher levels. These increases are all independent of your specialization choice, so Arkhan is always super tanky.

  • Arkhan's "overwhelmed" starting point is 25, instead of 15.

  • Added an upgrade to Arkhan's tank spec that increases the max health of all other Champions in the formation by a 25% of Arkhan's max health. This includes other tanks (4 tanks in formation ~= tank-health level squishies and double-health tanks).

  • Added a new upgrade called "Rage of the Dragonborn". When Arkhan attacks, his attack is based on how many enemies are currently attacking him. With 0-5 enemies attacking, he does his normal single target swing. With 6-15 enemies attacking, he does a small cleave with each attack, and his attack damage modifier is increased (5x modifier). With 16+ enemies attacking, he does a massively damaging flame breath attack (20x modifier).

  • Rage of the Dragonborn also stacks when enemies or bosses begin to enrage. It counts each enrage increase as one additional attacking enemy.

  • Arkhan's specializations have been completely reworked. You now choose between the following specs: "Bulk Up: All formation buffs Arkhan receives are increased by X% if he's in the front column of the formation" or "Usurped Power: When in the front column of the formation Arkhan now receives any positional formation buffs that are received by those adjacent to him at X% efficiency, even if he doesn't meet the positional requirements. (Doesn't apply the same FA twice if he already gets it)."

  • Arkhan's Flame Breath ultimate attack has been removed; he now unlocks Chango Unchained regardless of specialization.

  • Arkhan's personal achievement now requires that he attack with Flame Breath 10,000 times. Since his ultimate has changed, this means he must attack with Rage of the Dragonborn while tanking 16+ enemies X times in order to earn the achievement. The achievement has been reset for all players, but those of you who completed the old achievement will find it in the Legacy Achievements category.

  • Added a new formation ability called "Rising Anger" that increases the damage of all "Evil" champions in the formation for each enemy attacking Arkhan (and/or each boss/monster enrage stack active). This FA is available in all specs.

  • We've made some changes to Arkhan's loot to match his new build. His Global DPS item in slot two is now Self DPS. His third slot item now increases global gold find instead of the defunct First in Line FA, and his fourth item increases the effectiveness of his specializations.

Gromma

We like the *idea* of Gromma, she just needed some tweaking to get her numbers right. With her tough tortle shell, she's tanky no matter which spec you pick, so she can fulfill the role of front-line support if the adventure or variant calls for it. We've pumped up her Grandmotherly Love ability to the extreme, so if your DPS is on the young-end of the spectrum, she's definitely worth considering for a buffing slot in your formation. We've also looked at each of her specializations and made some tweaks to each, focusing on her Tanking, Support, and DPS ability for Circle of the Mountain, Arctic, and Swamp respectively. Her tanking kit has been redesigned, with a completely new "Spiked Shell" mechanic, as well as other new formation abilities for buffing the party's health and the damage of neutral champions while Gromma is under attack. We also threw a new formation ability into her Circle of the Swamp spec so that she can benefit from a portion of her Grandmotherly Love ability.
  • Added numerous upgrades to Grandmotherly Love and Global DPS, bringing Gromma's buffing ability up out of the doghouse and into a respectable range.

  • Removed a number of the odd discrepancies in Gromma's upgrade tree that were based on her specialization. Aside from buffs to her specialization-specific abilities, her upgrades should be more uniform across her three specs.

  • Added health increasing upgrades to Gromma to match the new healing/tanking curve. These upgrades exist independent of her tanking specialization.

  • Gromma's outgoing global and formation buffs have been matched to a new target curve. Other champions will be adjusted to this new curve during a future balance pass.

  • Gromma's base attack cooldown increased to 6.9 seconds from 4.6 seconds. If you specialize Circle of the Swap her Melf's Acid Arrow attack has the original 4.6 second cooldown with a +50% dps modifier so that the attack damage remains the same.

  • Added an upgrade to Gromma's tank spec that increases the max health of all other Champions in the formation by a 25% of Gromma's max health. This includes other tanks (4 tanks in formation ~= tank-health level squishies and double-health tanks).

  • Gromma's Hardened Shell upgrade now decreases the effect of the "overwhelmed" debuff system by 25%.

  • The Spiked Shell upgrade (Circle of the Mountain spec 2nd ability) has been reworked. Now instead of taking a percentage of Gromma's damage, enemies that attack Gromma are debuffed by a "Pierced Armor" effect. This effect can stack up to 25 times, and by default causes enemies to take 100% more damage per stack (stacking additively). This makes enemies squishier and squishier the more then attack Gromma, making them easier for your other Champions to defeat.

  • Freezing breath (Circle of the Arctic spec 2nd ability) has been substantially buffed. The base effect now increases damage monsters affected by Sleet Storm take by 400%, up from 25%. Further upgrades to this ability ramp up the bonus damage even more.

  • Acid Splash (Circle of the Swamp spec 2nd ability) has been buffed from 25% to 100%. Buffs to it have been removed.

  • Gromma's Circle of the Swamp specialization will receive additional dps buffs compared to her other spec, making it a viable DPS spec in the right circumstances. If you choose this specialization, Gromma will also learn a new FA called "Love Thyself" that increases her damage by 75% of her maximum Grandmotherly Love buff.

  • Added a new formation ability called "Shades of Gray" that increases the damage of all "Neutral" champions (lawful, true, and chaotic; doesn't include neutral good or neutral evil) in the formation for each enemy attacking Gromma (and/or each boss/monster enrage stack active). This FA is only available when you choose Gromma's Circle of the Mountain spec.

Barrowin

Barrowin's reign of terror over other buffing champions is finally over. It was good while it lasted, but if you live by the hammer, you die by the hammer, and the nerf hammer has brought Barrowin's buffing ability back in line with other Champions. Blessed Hammer has had the way hammers stack adjusted. Instead of stacking multiplicatively with each other, each additional hammer provides a flat multiplier to the blessing: 1x for 1 hammer, 3x for 2 hammers, 7x for 3 hammers, and 15x for 4 hammers. This still provides for a 230,000%+ buff with 4 hammers at max level and with decent gear, but it's a far cry from the game breaking 1e15% buffs that the ability was providing before. To make up for the nerf, Barrowin's attack speed has been slightly lowered, increasing your chance to get an extra hammer stack once in a while, but in general her ability to buff has been brought more in line with other Champions in her seat. With her increased survivability when she's in the tank link, Barrowin is an excellent healing choice for formations with multiple front-line slots and a cluttered 2nd column. Her ultimate has also been redesigned to give your formation a quick boost of power and survivability whenever you desire.
  • Barrowin's base attack speed has been lowered to 4.1 from 4.4 seconds.

  • Reduced the base effect of Healing Word to better match the new health/healing curves.

  • Upgrades to Healing Word have been rebalanced. Removed approximately 8 upgrades and distributed the remaining 5 among Barrowin's level curve.

  • Added to and adjusted Barrowin's set of Global DPS upgrades.

  • Barrowin's slot 1 loot items now buff Global DPS instead of Self DPS.

  • Barrowin's slot 4 loot items (increase Healing Word amount) have had their base values reduced from 25/87.5/150/275% to 10/30/50/100%.

  • Added a new FA ("Divine Aid") at level 210 that increases Barrowin's max health by 50% of the max health of the Champion in her column with the highest max health. This can count Barrowin herself, so if there are no other Champions in the column, or all Champions in her column have a lower max health than her, she increases her max health by 50% of her own max health. This effect also increases her "overwhelmed" point to 25.

  • Added a new FA ("Even Temper") at level 325 that increases Barrowin's attack speed by 1 sec whenever she has been attacked in the last 8.2 seconds.

  • Blessed Hammer's stacking is no longer purely multiplicative. Instead, each hammer provides a flat multiplier to the base buff amount: 1x for 1 hammer, 3x for 2 hammers, 7x for 3 hammers, and 15x for 4 hammers. Additionally several upgrades have been spread out across Barrowin's levels more evenly. All in all, the ability should be as good as comparable support champions with equal gear at 2 hammers, slightly worse at 1 hammer, and still best in class at 3+ hammers.

  • Barrowin's ultimate has been reconfigured. She throws her hammer at a random enemy, stunning it for 5 seconds. This also instantly sets all adjacent champions to *6* hammer stacks (the 5th stack adds another 16x and the 6th another 32x, for a total buff 63x the "base" Blessed Hammer amount; these stacks override any existing stacks) and a 10x normal health shield to all champions in her column.

  • Barrowin's shielding achievement has been changed to a healing achievement. Requiring 120e6 damage healed, down from 1e22 damage shielded. This must be effective healing, not just any healing ticks. The achievement has been reset for all players, but those of you who completed the old achievement will find it in the Legacy Achievements category.

Evelyn

Evelyn didn't require much maintenance. She's intended to be squishier than Nayeli or the other buffer tanks, but with more buffing potential. We added health upgrades to keep her in line with the new health/healing curve, and adjusted her upgrades to improve the scaling of her Divine Prayer buff effects.
  • Added health increasing upgrades to Evelyn to match the new healing/tanking curve.

  • Buffed Evelyn's Global DPS upgrades, and added another one near max level. Adjusted her upgrades to Divine Prayer as well to get her on-par with other tanking buffers.

  • Added an upgrade that increases the max health of all other Champions in the formation by a 25% of Evelyn's max health. This includes other tanks (4 tanks in formation ~= tank-health level squishies and double-health tanks).

  • Steadfast Might now also stacks when enemies or bosses begin to enrage. It counts each enrage increase as one additional attacking enemy.

  • Evelyn's axe gear (slot 1) is now global DPS instead of self DPS.

Donaar

Donaar was designed after most of the tanking and healing update was laid out, so his changes are minimal. Mostly just tweaks to his healing values to bring him in line with the new health curve.
  • Donaar's healing ability has been rebalanced in line with the new health curve. This has resulted in several upgrades being removed, and several being heavily nerfed.

  • Reduced the base values of Donaar's healing loot from 25/87.5/150/275% to 10/30/50/100%.

IV. Changes

  • Potions of Heroism (health potions) have been added back into chests. The effects have been reduced to 50%, 100%, 200%, and 300%, due to the change in the health scaling curve.
  • Bosses now spawn in lower 2/3rds of spawn area so tall bosses are less hidden.
  • Added equipment shininess border to the champion info menu.
  • Added buttons to inventory sliders to allows single increments and decrements.
  • Added mouse wheel support for sliders.

V. Fixes

  • Fixed the description of the number of eyeballs bobbing in the Large Potion of Clairvoyance.
  • Familiar count text now always remains on one line.
  • Fixed a bug where Azaka's Weretiger progress bar would disappear.
  • Fixed a bug where the Chief Yorb boss monster could be plane-shifted away by Vlahnya's Ultimate, rendering the level un-completable.
  • Fixed event dialog boxes being in the wrong spots when graphics are not yet loaded.
November 26th, 2018
Dev Blog: Tanking and Healing 
Posted in Idle Champions.


Hey everyone, Justin from the Codename Entertainment development team here. Today I'm going to talk about something that has been a long time in the making.

I. What's Going On?

It's finally time! The long awaited tanking and healing update -- or as the community has lovingly nicknamed it, the "Shielding, Healing, and Tanking (SH&T)" update -- is almost here. This update includes changes to tanks, healers, and monsters, and is designed to provide more interesting and varied choices for dealing with the inevitable mob of monsters that constantly attacks your formation.

    TL/DR:I've decided to put the TLDR at the top of this post, since it is quite extensive. When we began to talk about this patch in earnest, we've seen quite a bit of concern about this patch changing the game completely, but in reality the changes are focused primarily on the part of the game near "your wall" -- the point at which enemies start to reach your formation on a regular basis. Prior to that point in gameplay the effects you'll feel from this update will be fairly minor. At your wall, in general, Champions won't be able to take as many hits, but if properly spec'd and healed they can pull you a few extra areas further than if they weren't there. This update also includes improved offline gold, ultimate damage, and upgrades for a soft cap increase up to approximately e49 gold.

We are aiming to have this update released this week, though as always unforeseen issues have the potential to delay it, so don't bet the farm on it.

II. Champion Health & Monster Damage

One of the biggest issues this update addresses is the disparity between Champion health and monster damage, especially in higher areas. Prior to the update, Champion health very quickly outpaces monster damage, resulting in even the squishiest of Champions being able to tank high level enemies for far longer than they should.

After the update, Champion health has been completely rebalanced. It starts lower and no longer increases with each level-up. Tanking Champions gain health through upgrades, and non-tanking Champions can gain additional health through new formation abilities that tanking Champions get. Monster damage also only increases when the adventure story resets (in areas 51, 101, 151, etc.), meaning each time you go through you need more tanking and healing power (in addition to damage) to keep up. In general, the curves are a lot shallower, so Champions have less health but monsters do less damage as well. This has resulted in your DPS being the much more important metric for if you can or cannot go further.

    Minor tidbits:

  • Healing and shielding abilities have been adjusted to match the new lower health values.
  • Loot items that affected health, healing, or shields have also been adjusted.
  • Health potions (Potions of Heroism) have also been added back to the pool of possible chest contents.

III. Overwhelming Attacks

A key tenant of this update is that tanking Champions should be able to stand fast against a small number of enemies without any issues, assuming they're getting some healing, but against overwhelming force you'll need some hefty tanks and healing. A new mechanic, "Overwhelming Attacks," causes Champions to take more damage when they begin to be overwhelmed by enemies. For most Champions, they can handle up to 15 enemies without any issue, but some tankier Champions have a higher break-point.

IV. Offline Gold & Party/Ultimate Damage

We've updated two of our primary algorithms: Party Damage and Offline Gold.

For Party Damage, the damage number displayed in the top-left corner of the game has been updated to take more effects into account, including things like Barrowin Hammers, Minsc's Favored Enemies, Champions with cleave and AOE attacks, and so on. This has resulted in a more accurate representation of party damage, which has translated into an increase in Ultimate Attack damage across the board, since Ultimate damage is based on party damage. The days when your base attacks do more damage than ultimate abilities are (hopefully) in the past.

The other change is to Offline Gold. The new algorithm also accounts for all of the same things the party damage does, resulting in a more accurate gold per second estimation. This has resulted in increased gold from offline time, bounty contracts, silver chests, and distractions. We will continue to monitor these numbers and make further tweaks as necessary.

    Other Minor Changes:

  • The enrage mechanic for bosses has been rebalanced so that damage ramps up more slowly.
  • Abilities that power-up based on the number of enemies attacking also increase based on enemy enrage stacks.
  • The game now automatically buys non purchased upgrades on load. This fixes a couple of edge cases with the Gamepad UI.
  • Speaking of which, the Gamepad UI will be updated with new graphics and tweaks in this update.
  • We've rebalanced the buffing multiplier curve and applied the new curve to all the tanking and healing Champions affected by this update. The curve will be applied to everyone else over time (the largest impact will come with next year's major balance update). In general this will result in a softening of the buffing ability for Champions in earlier bench seats, and an increase in the buffing capability of Champions in later bench seats, however only a few Champions have been changed at this point.
  • We've added new upgrades for all Champions up to approximately e49 gold.
  • We've made minor tweaks to some monsters and encounters to make them work better in a post tanking & healing update world.

V. Champion Updates

We've taken this opportunity to rebalance all tanks and healers currently in the game. This includes the Base Champions Celeste, Nayeli, Calliope, Tyril, and Arkhan, as well as the Event Champions Gromma, Barrowin, Evelyn, and Donaar. Some of these Champions have received only minor tweaks, while others (like Arkhan and Barrowin) have received more significant reworks. A summary of the changes are listed below. The full details will be included in the change log for this update.

Base Champion Updates

Celeste

Not much change to Celeste. We reworked her healing numbers to match the new tanking/healing curves and reduced the difference in healing/buffing between her two specializations so they can both be used depending on whether you need just a bit more damage or just a bit more healing (this brings her general design closer to more recent heroes, whose specializations have a smaller impact on their overall power).

Nayeli

We're pretty happy with how Nayeli works as a tank. We simply reworked her health to match the new tanking/healing curve and reduced the difference in buffing/tanking between her two specializations so they can both be used depending on whether you need Nayeli to buff a bit more or take a few more hits before dying (this brings her general design closer to more recent heroes, whose specializations have a smaller impact on their overall power). We also added a new tank-specific formation ability to Nayeli to help her protect the group against AOE damage in later areas.

Calliope

Calliope's shields are quite powerful at delaying the death of tanks, especially under the new tanking/healing curves. As such, when a Champion is shielded by Calliope there is now a 15 second cooldown before they can be affected by her shield again. Calliope's ultimate overrides this limitation, and the shields still last until they are broken. College of Lore, instead of increasing the amount of her shields, now decreases the new cooldown by 5 seconds to 10 seconds total, meaning you can shield more often. The difference in subsequent upgrades between College of Valor and College of Lore has been removed, so that the two specializations are simply a choice between more frequent shields or slightly higher Bardic Inspiration buffs (this brings her general design closer to more recent heroes, whose specializations have a smaller impact on their overall power). Calliope emerges as a decent death delayer, and one of the few healer-types who can protect the majority of the formation from incidental damage.

Tyril

Tyril's original Wild Shape design was based around creating big damage shields for himself with his ultimate, allowing him to survive much longer than he otherwise would have. This design has been refined in the rework. His ultimate attack now does AOE damage, and the shield it generates is a percentage of his max health times the number of enemies he hit, with bonuses for enemies killed. Time his ultimate correctly and he can create a shield that will allow him to tank for an extended period of time. We've of course adjusted his health increases to match the new tanking/healing curve, though he'll only gain tank-level health in Wild Shape spec. Tyril is essentially two completely different Champions, depending on the spec you pick, so we've thrown some love at his Moonbeam spec as well and changed the way Moonbeam scales based on adjacent Champions. Moonbeam also has more, larger upgrades, making Tyril more competitive with Barrowin in more situations. His Moonbeam spec heal has also been rebalanced to match the new tanking/healing curves. Finally, Tyril's new "Forces of Good" ability ramps up the damage of your "Good" Champions when he's under attack or the enemies are enraging.

Arkhan

We wanted to use this opportunity to completely redesign Arkhan, morphing him into the bad-ass group-leading force of nature that he is in his tabletop appearances, and always was intended to be in our game. To that end, we've redesigned him with the idea of a "Tank DPS" in mind. We've removed nearly all of his existing abilities ("First in Line", "Loyalty", "Chango Unchained", "Chango Restrained") and replaced them with new ones. With "Rage of the Dragonborn," Arkhan's damage ramps up drastically when more enemies are attacking him by changing his attack to hit more and more enemies -- for example, Flame Breath becomes his basic attack when 16 or more enemies are targeting him! Through his brand new specializations, Arkhan's damage is increased in ways that no other Champions' are. "Bulk Up" increases the effect of formation abilities that target him, and "Usurped Power" causes positional formation abilities that target Champions adjacent to Arkhan to *also* target him, regardless of their normal restrictions. A new formation ability called "Rising Anger" increases the damage of evil Champions when Arkhan is under attack (go go Krond!). Finally, we've adjusted Arkhan's gear to better suit his new build, including giving him his very own Gold Find loot item. We hope that with these changes, Arkhan could conceivably be used to build some very interesting formations.

Event Champion Updates

Gromma

We like the *idea* of Gromma, she just needed some tweaking to get her numbers right. With her tough Tortle shell, she's tanky no matter which spec you pick, so she can fulfill the role of front-line support if the adventure or variant calls for it. We've pumped up her Grandmotherly Love ability to the extreme, so if your DPS is on the young-end of the spectrum, she's definitely worth considering for a buffing slot in your formation. We've also looked at each of her specializations and made some tweaks to each, focusing on her Tanking, Support, and DPS ability for Circle of the Mountain, Arctic, and Swamp respectively. Her tanking kit has been redesigned, with a completely new "Spiked Shell" mechanic, as well as other new formation abilities for buffing the party's health and the damage of neutral Champions while Gromma is under attack. We also threw a new formation ability into her Circle of the Swamp spec so that she can benefit from a portion of her Grandmotherly Love ability.

Barrowin

Barrowin's reign of terror over other buffing Champions is finally over. It was good while it lasted, but if you live by the hammer, you die by the hammer, and the nerf hammer has brought Barrowin's buffing ability back in line with other Champions. Blessed Hammer has had the way hammers stack adjusted. Instead of stacking multiplicatively with each other, each additional hammer provides a flat multiplier to the blessing: 1x for 1 hammer, 3x for 2 hammers, 7x for 3 hammers, and 15x for 4 hammers. This still provides for a 230,000%+ buff with 4 hammers at max level and with decent gear, but it's a far cry from the game breaking 1e15% buffs that the ability was providing before. To make up for the nerf, Barrowin's attack speed has been slightly lowered, increasing your chance to get an extra hammer stack once in a while, but in general her ability to buff has been brought more in line with other Champions in her seat. With her increased survivability when she's in the tank line, Barrowin is an excellent healing choice for formations with multiple front-line slots and a cluttered 2nd column. Her ultimate has also been redesigned to give your formation a quick boost of power and survivability whenever you desire.

Evelyn

Evelyn didn't require much maintenance. She's intended to be squishier than Nayeli or the other buffer tanks, but with more buffing potential. We added health upgrades to keep her in line with the new health/healing curve, and adjusted her upgrades to improve the scaling of her Divine Prayer buff effects.

Donaar

Donaar was designed just prior to most of the tanking and healing update being laid out, so his changes are minimal. Mostly just tweaks to his healing values to bring him in line with the new health curve.

VI. What do YOU Think?

As always, we're excited to hear what you think of these changes. Feel free to jump onto the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord channel and give us your feedback.

Additionally, both our Subreddit Community Q&A and Weekly Livestream will be focused on the Tanking & Healing Update this week, so we will hopefully be able to answer all your questions!