Total War: ELYSIUM – September Update

Elysium

James High
September 1 2020

Update Highlights

  • The third Troy General – Penthesilea – has arrived, and she’s free for a week!
  • Our new ranked tier system is in the game
  • 8 new cards to collect, including 5 for Troy
  • Sun Ren has received her much-awaited buff!
  • Trojan Wall and High Ridge are among the cards seeing balance changes
  • The emote system has been upgraded, including some initial voiceovers
  • You can now reroll your Daily Missions!
  • Various changes and bug fixes to improve your ELYSIUM experience

New Content

Generals

Penthesilea is available for FREE for the next week, just log in to Total War: ELYSIUM to claim her and your free Troy starter deck. On the 9th September she will join the other Generals in the Store.

Skill Ranking

Ranked tiers have been added to player profiles! As you secure victory over your opponents, you’ll be promoted through the 10 various tiers. In a battle, you’ll be able to see your opponent’s ranked tier.

  • This is our first step towards a visible ranking system, so watch this space.

Skill-based matchmaking is being implemented to support the ranking system.

  • We expect to keep tuning this in order to find the balance between matching players up correctly and length of waiting times, especially as more players join

Cards

Amazon (Troy, Common)

Berserkers (Vikings, Epic)

Border Guard (Timeless, Rare)

Centaur Horde (Troy, Epic)

Daughter of Ares (Troy, Epic)

Fall of Troy (Troy, Legendary)

Earthworks Battery (Empire, Rare)

Satyr (Troy, Rare)

Updates

General Changes

Sun Ren

Previously: Whenever this kills a Unit, add a Sun Attendant to hand

Now: Whenever this kills an enemy in your turn, deploy a Sun Attendant

Sun Ren has been a player favourite but not seen as much play, so we felt an aggressive change was needed. This makes it so the Sun Attendant deploys directly to the battlefield, rather than have to be played out. This obviously skips the Supply cost, but also means the Attendant is often ready a turn earlier, especially in the early game. Additionally, kills to enemy Structures also count, giving Sun Ren much more utility against structure decks, which she struggled against. Finally, only kills in Sun Ren’s turn count now, so kills on defence won’t deploy an Attendant. This was more of a gameplay issue than a balance one, but it does mean Sun Ren’s otherwise greatly buffed ability has an additional counterplay option.

Marie Antoinette

Previously: Whenever a friendly Unit dies, your Signature Card costs (1) less

New: Whenever another ally dies, your Signature Card costs (1) less

This shift means Marie’s ability now also counts the death of friendly structures. Players are already building very interesting Marie decks, and experimenting outside of a primarily Peasants strategy, which is really cool. This opens up some additional options throwing in structures your opponent is forced to deal with. We’ll be watching this change closely to make sure it doesn’t reduce the main counterplay to Marie of trying to avoid killing her allies.

Card Changes

Calibrated Ordnance

Previously: Adds two Roundshots to your hand when Planned

Now: adds one Roundshot when planned

Calibrated Ordnance was ubiquitous in French Republic decks, often being very clearly the best choice of removal, meaning the Empire era’s other options (Grapeshot, Crack Shot, Blast, etc.) were frequently ignored. This nerf should widen those options out and allow for more interesting deck-building choices.

Caltrops

Previously: Destroy target enemy Cavalry

Now: Stun target enemy. If it’s Cavalry, deal 4 damage to it.

This further rework to Caltrops fixes two issues: Firstly, it reduces its ability to immediately wipe out late-game Cavalry (like Cataphracts), which was far too cost-effective, though it remains useful against those cards. Secondly, its ability to Stun anything raises the floor of the card a little, which was a major frustration of the old design when your enemy turned out to not be playing any cavalry.

Comrade in Arms

Previously: Cost (2), 1/2

Now: Cost (3), 2/2

Comrade in Arms was very widely-played, and often pushed out many other options at the (2) cost slot, which was a problem for a Timeless card.

False Dawn

Now: In addition to existing effects, if there are Plan cards in your hand, False Dawn will now cause them to become planned

This gives some extra utility to False Dawn, and opens up additional synergy in Plan decks. It also feels consistent, as Plan specifically references Daybreak.

Demoralise

Previously: Cost (2), give target enemy unit -2/-2

Now: Cost (3), give target enemy unit -3/-3 until Daybreak

Lay Down Arms

Previously: Cost (4), “Give all Units and Structures on an enemy line -2 Attack”

Now: Cost (2), “Give everything on an enemy line -2 Attack until Daybreak”

We’re moving away from making permanent reductions to the Attack stat a common thing in the Elysium, as Lay Down Arms in particular has proven that this a negative play experience. Having strong effects that wear off at Daybreak is a mechanic only Elysium can do, and makes for interesting choices for players. Additionally, with Demoralise specifically we wanted to move it out of the (2) cost slot, as it was fighting with a lot of other removal options, especially with the Trample changes below.

Flank Charge

Previously Cost (4)

Now: Cost (3)

This card was simply not seeing play, as it was too frequently offering 0 or 1 cavalry for (4) cost, which was too big a risk to bring in from the Reserves. This adjustment should push it to be worth the risk more often, though counterplay remains, as your opponent can simply resist overplaying Ranged into it if they suspect you’re playing it.

Forlorn Hope

Previously: Shattered: Trigger the Shattered effects of all other allies on this line

Now: Herald: Trigger the Shattered effects of all other allies on this line

A Shattered deck should be an interesting deck-building challenge, however this card demanded you jump through too many hoops in order to get the pay-off. This change – which activates immediately if you do the set-up – should allow that deck to be more competitive.

Harsh Justice

Previously: Deals damage to all enemy units

Now: Deals damage to one enemy line

Harsh Justice was too good for its cost, especially given that having a large board of Shielded allies was already its own reward. This makes the card a little more tactical to use, and allows the enemy to play around it better.

High Ridge

Previously: 0/4, “Other Units and Structures on this line have +2 Health”

Now: 0/5, “Other Units and Structures on this line have +1 Health”

High Ridge was slowly starting to appear in almost all decks, regardless of archetype or strategy, creating stagnant gameplay. This change restricts its use more towards swarm-based decks (which can have a larger number of allies benefitting from the buff), making it more situational. In return, the Ridge itself is slightly harder to kill.

Himalayan Horsemen

Previously: Cost (5), 4/4

Now: Cost (4), 3/3

Xiongnu Raiders

Previously: (4) cost 4/4

New: (3) cost 2/4

With two changes above we’re adjusting the available choices at different Supply slots for the Cavalry deck. We’re trying to reduce some clustering and make it a bit easier to build this deck.

Mycenaean Chariot

Previously: Heroic: Deploy two Archers

New: Heroic and Shattered: Deploy two Archers

Mycenaean Chariot was underpowered, with even the best case of triggering Heroic producing an effect that was mediocre. The addition of the Shattered effect means you don’t always have to activate Heroic to get some value, and raises the floor of the card. It also synergises nicely with Penthesilea’s Signature Card. We actually had this effect on a pre-release version of the card, but were concerned about readability. In this case because the card is not seeing much play we feel the complexity is justified.

No Quarter

Previously: (5) cost, “Destroy all damaged enemy Units”

Now: (3) cost, “Destroy all damaged Units on an enemy line”

As stated in the previous update, we were looking to rework No Quarter, as it felt too similar to Regime Change in many cases (particularly because of the similar Blot Out the Sun combo), and occupied a similar slot on the Supply curve. Restricting it to a line felt like the best choice, as that’s a mechanic unique to Elysium, synergises with things like movement effects, and allows better counterplay (your opponent can try and spread their damaged forces between two lines).

Rake

Previously: Gives camouflage to ally deployed on the same line

Now: Gives Camouflage to any deployed ally

Rake was difficult to get much value out of, so this allows you to try and protect it on the back line while still giving front line allies Camouflage.

Regime Change

Previously Cost (5)

Now: Cost (6)

The previous nerf was insufficient, as the moving the combo a turn later didn’t reduce its power much at all. We’ll be keeping an eye on this to see if this further adjustment finally addresses the issue. If not, we’ll look at reworking the card.

Trample

Previously: Cost (3), Stun, 3 damage

Now: Cost (2), Stun, 2 damage

Elysium has an abundance of removal Events that deal 3 damage, which is creating repetitive gameplay patterns, and reducing the distinction between eras. This is part of addressing that. In addition, it makes the Stun effect more important as the target is more likely to survive. In general, we’d like more interesting removal options like Surround and Ride Down to get more play than the generic options, so this will be a continuing theme in the future.

Trojan Wall

Previously: Has Long-Ranged in your turn

Now: has Short-Ranged in your turn (was Long-Ranged)

This (small) adjustment to Trojan Wall encourages players to think more carefully about which line the Wall is played on, which makes the card a little more interesting to play with and against, and reduces the frustration of having it parked on the back line.

Tuntian Farm

Previously: Adds Short Sword to hand

Now deploys the Short Sword

This card was a little weak, so we’re trying out having it deploy the unit directly. This also means there’s a reward for risking having this structure on the front line.

Veteran Trainer

Previously: (6) cost, 4/6, “Movement: Other Units on this line gain +1/+1″

Now: (7) cost. 4/6, “Movement: Other Units on this line gain +2/+2”

This further adjustment to the card is about giving it a more unique identity, as it’s struggled to persuade players to put it in their deck. This gives it a place on the Supply curve that’s more unique, and a stronger that should create some powerful movement and swarm combos.

Other Changes

  • You can now re-roll up to one Mission each day
  • In Practice mode, the difficulty of the AI opponent and the quality of its deck is now based on your skill-rating, rather than being random
  • Emote options have changed, and General’s lines have changed to better reflect the desired response
  • Some initial Generals VO has gone in: Generals have voiced lines for when they’re selected and when they match an opponent
  • Home screen layout has changed
  • Generals finally disappear from the store once you’ve purchased them (there may still be an issue with purchasing your final General, and the store not refreshing immediately)
  • Starter decks have been tweaked and rebalanced a little (this only affects new accounts)
  • Shameful Display plays out much more quickly
  • Single-target event cards (like Stray Arrow, Calibrated Ordnance, etc.) now fire a projectile at their target.
  • All units now have full data for how they handle both melee and ranged attacks, even when they would not normally be able to do so. This raises the visual quality of those situations, and means units won’t default to arrow attacks.

Bug Fixes

  • Open Plains now interacts correctly with cards that care about others being played onto empty lines (Agamemnon, Achilles, Achaean Bronzeworker, etc.) in all situations
  • Arm the Mob no longer replaces Long-Ranged with Short-Ranged
  • Faering was suffering from some issues and they have now been fixed