The Formation Series

DFK: An instructive guide about PVE/PVP formations (Second Part)

About El Profesor

Like in the series, I will connect my passion for gaming with my affinity for data analytics & strategy. I have been changing the centralized world through big tech & now sharing my knowledge in the decentralized community.

You can reach “El Profesor” on Twitter @0xProfesor or Email 0xelprofesor@gmail.com

1. Taking Formation Theory from other disciplines such as: Sports (Football/Rugby), eSports, Military Strategy.

2. Assigning Heroes distinct combat roles from other titles. Ranging from the Witcher all the way to Diablo 2!

3. Putting it all together, theorycrafting possible 1.0 metagames.

Introduction

Hey reader! Welcome back again, this is the second article of Theorycrafting in PvE/PvP where we focus a bit more on the roles of Classes.

In the previous article; we talked about the importance of formations & planning in different gaming or sports disciplines.

Once again, I highly recommend pre-readingHero Base Stats — DeFi Kingdoms and Petrify’s Medium article on Combat & Stats to get the basic mechanics.

Triple Threat

Before we can prepare properly, we need to fully understand the current classes we have in Serendale. Without this, it would be hard to navigate in the world of combat!

Methodology

Before we jump right in, let’s lay out some assumptions:

  • I will not cover the Dreadknight as it is essentially a Jack of All Trades On Steroids.
  • Same goes for Dragoon and Sages, they are just more superior substitutes for Advanced/Basic classes.
  • I will attempt a high-level type of skills, abilities I am anticipating for the Hero in regards to current Stats role as well as HP/MP growth.
  • I added a likely counter from my gaming experience, since DFK is mostly going to be an autobattler game — I don’t think counters will work 100% accurate but it’s good to be aware of.
  • Transcendent, Elite, Advanced or Basic abilities are not covered here. But assume it will be more bold than the basic ones.
  • This is pure theorycrafting based on my previous gaming experiences, with all public information we have so far on Defi Kingdoms.

My gaming experience

  • Premier League ( National Team or National/Euro/World Championship ) level in; League of Legends, Magic: the Gathering, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4.
  • Competitive in; Team Fortress 2, Lord of the Rings TCG, Hearthstone Battlegrounds, Warzone, Tribal Wars.
  • Casual in; Hearthstone, Guild Wars, Genshin Impact, .Hack Enemy, Pirates of the Spanish Main, Hattrick.

*FRESH off the press; Growth Stats!*

Seems DFK published their public growth stats in their Spreadsheet;

First observations:

  • Knight & Monks are in the higher HP Gain%
  • Growth-over-time (GoT) in terms of Expected Value is higher in the Exalted, Elite, Advanced classes which is to be expected and should be more priced in the Market.
  • Except for Sage (60% Large MP chance), no other Class has this big of a growth.
  • Next steps would be to visualize exactly how the growth would work through a simulator.

Class Profiles

Basic Classes: Offensive Oriented

Warrior

Type: Fighter
Offense Rating: 4/5

Likely Countered by: Summoner, Dark Knight, Ninja, Thief

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Passive Resistance, Increased Fighting Style, Warcries

Description:

Looking at his stats, it is distinctively different from the Knight, Dark Knight but more resembling a Pirate. This guy chops hard with the higher combination of STR+DEX+AGI while surviving a little bit with the VIT+END combo. What it tells me that Magic abilities are nowhere to be found and the Warrior can thus be seen as a “slice & dice” character.

Therefore you don’t want to fight head-to-head physically with this character unless you are like a dreadknight.

Similar to:

Magic the Gathering’s Kamahl

High Power (6), very low Defense, haste (high agility) and a damaging ability. Would say this Warrior plays very similar but with a bit more HP but substantially less than its melee counterparts.

Diablo’s 2 Barbarian

I would anticipate a near-perfect representation of the Warrior when you look at his Skills;

  • Warcries
  • Combat Masteries
  • Combat Skills

You don’t need Mana to shout ay ;-) but looking deeper at this skillset

Pirate

Type: Yarrrrrr
Offense Rating: 3/5

Likely Countered by: Summoner, Dark Knight, Ninja, Thief

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Critical shots, first/double strike

Description: Compared to the Warrior, we lose STR (-5), END (-10), VIT (-5) and gain LCK (+20). Now also looking visually at this character, it has a sword, and a gun! So melee & ranged would be the most distinctive feature. Now what one gains in LCK means Critical strikes so I will be looking to fight ranged when I lose the melee battle , and do both if the Pirate can out-melee the opponent.

Similar to:

League of Legend’s Gangplank

Gangplank (or also known as Critplank) is a fascinating character within League which uses his basic attack to shoot his gun (and thus become ranged) but overall uses his sword as a melee character. Though his gun crits hard if build correctly, I do think with weapons coming up in Defi Kingdoms, this can be replicated.

Thief

Type: Disruption Offensive
Offense Rating: 2.5/5

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Disabling equipment, stealing equipment, evasion.

Likely Countered by: Wizard, Ninja, Warrior, Dark Knight

Description:

Do we automatically say a Thief is a junior Ninja? Could be. But in other games, a Thief (Yuffie in FF7 or the mechanic) is more of a disruptor than a straight-up killing assassin. Stat-wise, a thief as +5 LCK, +5 END versus a Ninja which could indicate that a lucky thief can be critical when we anticipate equipment to be a big boost for characters. What a thief can do is “snatch/sabotage/disrupt” this equipment from interacting with the combat and/or hero. In addition — perhaps next level — is actually stealing it from your opponent to be used temporarily for your own characters.

I would say the Thief would be one of the biggest wildcards in the upcoming game as it front-face strengths aren’t compelling enough compared to a Ninja or any other character.

Similar to:

Final Fantasy’s Yuffie

She steals stuff, sounds like a thief to me!

Magic the Gathering’s Dack Fayden

“Self-proclaimed” greatest thief in the Multiverse! In the game, his -2 ability of taking control of an artifact is usually game breaking as it takes control over an important sword, mana resource in the game.

Archer

Type: Ranged Balanced
Balance Rating: 3.5/5

Likely Countered by: Summoner, Paladin, Ninja

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Headshots (Crits/poison), Double shots, Disrupt Agility (stun)

Description:

The most ranged physical character in the basic category. There are different ways of building this hero out in terms of skills. It can range from a Sniper-esque hero to a more agile shooter in the fray (Like Legolas in LOTR). It’s hard to speculate here but I would judge this hero to be successful when:

  • It can “kite” melee characters correctly. But since Agility is 50 and it is turn-based, I would be a super-optimist expecting this in the beginning.
  • Or It can disrupt the front-line through temporarily reducing their mobility (agility or even a stun) as one can hit arrows through someone’s “legs” so to speak or embalm your arrows with a stun poison.
  • Or because DEX is at 80, as well as STR 55 and LCK 40, a critical shot from afar can inflict more damage before the combat even starts.

The rating can easily fluctuate depending how the skills align with the archer. Personally I would look for other ranged heroes for now but it can easily turn into a flavor of the month; imagine 3 Archers being able to kite a Dread Knight before it can even do anything ;-) Example

Similar to:

League of Legend’s Vayne

If you opt for a more offensive Archer that ‘stick & moves” (kite), combining AGI with DEX/STR for max DPS would be the way going forward if DFK allows this mechanic.

FPS Doug

Ok technically not a game character but similar to FPS games (CS, COD etc.), you have snipers that look for headshots all the way in the back.

So for a more supportive-defensive way of looking at an archer would be this path, though it is probably more involving mathematics to calculate if the DPS is worth it.

Wizard

Type: Offensive Ranged
Offense Rating: 3.5/5

Likely Countered by: Ninja, Paladin, Summoner

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Direct Damage Spells, Elementals (?!), Curses.

Description: Wizard stats-wise is not far off the Summoner though the growth trajectory should be higher with the advanced classes. Compared to the Wizard’s sister (Priest), I anticipate this character to be more offensive.

How exactly should be based on the abilities given by the PvP NPC which could be;

  • Direct Damage Spells
  • Elemental Spells which would complicate what beats what and how.
  • Spells that create state-based effects ( buff certain conditions, or create states like permafrost?)

Obviously if one has to pick a Magic Hero, it would be Sage > Summoner > Wizard/Priest but I think the gap between Summoner & Wizard is relatively smaller than Sage & Summoner.

Similar to:

Diablo 2’s Sorceress

The elements here are present; Ice is very good for PvE (Frozen Orb) while Fire/Lightning are prime elements for PvP. Nothing much to say here but could be an option for DFK to pivot to this route for Wizard.

Other alternatives;

You are a Wizard Harry!

Besides the meme, if one looks at the abilities of Harry; he possesses disarming spells for Dueling, Curses that can affect an opponent’s state or disables someone temporarily. Besides direct-damage spells, I think we can extract some inspiration out of any Wizard in any TV-series ( Gandalf, Wizards of the Witcher and so forth ).

Defensive Oriented

Knight

Type: Tank
Offense Rating: ⅗

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Physical defense boost, redirect damage to Knight.

Description: Very close to a Paladin with less growth stats. For a budget-PvP ( Think about Pauper formats where only Commons and/or Basic/Advanced classes can be used, this one would be in my formation immediately.

Most likely the Knight falters against Magic Defense while Paladin still has that extra defense in stats. Then I anticipate this is strengthened through abilities/passives.

Similar to:

Genshin Impact’s Beidou

Her abilities is a classic hack’n’slash on the offense but her hidden ability is to shield a damage source with her claymore instantly. Often rated as a mid-tier damage character with this insane shield.

Age of Empire 2’s Huskarl

This unit is relatively cheap to summon but it’s main strengths are insanely fast production time to spam, immune to archer fire and bonus damage against buildings. I’d say the Knight might be something similar here having a particular physical defense with a distinctive advantage and disadvantage.

Monk

Type: Balanced
Offense Rating: 2.5/5

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Meditation-esque skills (Channeling), Martial Arts

Description:

What seems to be the Jack of all Trades and Dev’s favorite hero. Nothing major stands out in the stat growth. I’d say the anticipated skills would be something like meditation whereby it takes a turn to fully become transcendent or healed. By far the most difficult hero to assess stats-wise.

Probably similar to:

Naruto’s Rock Lee

Being almost useless in anything involving chakra (mana in DFK), Rock Lee focuses on pure physical martial arts and close combat.

League of Legends’ Lee Sin

Perhaps one of the highest skill-cap champion in the game; basically useless if you don’t know how to chain the abilities but absolutely god-like when you can. I feel DFK’s Monk is something similar where something “amazing” can come out of the Hero during PvP but more often than not, it just falters. Here is a funny YouTube clip which I recognise my own fails with this champ too.

Priest

Type: Defensive Mage
Offense Rating: ⅖

Likely Countered by: Summoner, Dark Knight, Ninja, Thief

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Direct healing, debuff removals or debuff prevention.

Description: +10 END (vs Wizard) but possessing -10 INT (vs Wizard) which is the only difference between these two classes. Therefore the main difference should come from its skills or abilities in relation to the Wizard if the game designers want to make a distinctively different hero.

Random NFA: This should make you relatively more bullish on “advanced” or “elite” or “transcendent” abilities if they can play a major role in distinguishing classes.

Anticipating Priest focuses on defense versus the Wizard, it’s rating is a bit underwhelming because I anticipate attack boosts should always have a higher modification boost than healing/defensive ones to progress the combat game.

Similar to:

Genshin Impact’s Barbara

Very much focused on slapping enemies with water & then getting the big power-up in healing everyone with her ultimate skill.

League of Legend’s Sona

Also very similar to Barbara, but her toolkit providing more utilities such as Auras to move faster, heal or do low amounts of poke damage. Her ultimate provides a stun which is the main reason I am highlighting Sona rather than any other healer in any game. It is up to the Game Dev (Cumberdale et co.) to design the Priest to be within this Barbara — Sona spectrum.

Priest rating will go up when it is being designed with a toolkit as extensive as Sona rather than just a classic healer. Fingers crossed on this one!

Advanced Classes:

Offensive Oriented

Ninja

Type: Offensive Assassin
Offense Rating: ⅘

Likely Countered by: Paladin, Knight, Monk

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Twin-strikes, Critical Hits/Execution if below x VIT%, Damage-over-time (poison darts).

Description:

If designed correctly, I’d love to play with 1 or even 2 Ninjas in my 3v3 team! This is a high-risk, high-reward character combining the fastest movement (AGI), the surgical precision (DEX) and the highest critical damage (LCK+STR) to assassinate any non-tank hero. Or it simply tries to slap a tank and gets rekt.

Similar to:

League of Legend’s Zed

Legendary Video of an Assassin

This character wreaks mega-havoc during teamfights and it’s only goal is to assassinate the highest DPS character of the opposing team. It’s high skill-cap limits the domination in the game ecosystem but Zed (including its lethal voiceUnseen blade is the deadliest”) really personifies DFK’s Ninjas.

Team Fortress’ Spy

Firstly this is a very fun character to play with but resembles exactly what a Ninja represents; needs to be in deep enemy territory, critical kills (backstabs) key characters and ability to vanish into thin air. While certain techniques are basic, some require exact mechanics to execute and survive on which is exactly what a ninja needs in combat.

Summoner

Type: Balanced Ranged
Offense Rating: 3.5/5

Likely Countered by: Ninja, Thief, Paladin, Knight

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Likely a combination of Priest/Wizard.

Description: Describing as balanced as it comes from the lineage of Wizards (Offensive) and Priests (Defensive). Having 5 growth points extra in STR/DEX compared to a Sage, could indicate the weapon matter a bit more with a summoner. See a summoner that can deal a sustained amount of damage but not the burst type.

Similar to:

League of Legend’s Vladimir

Needs weapons to fully utilize his kit? Check.

Sustained amount of damage? Check.

Defensive self-healing capabilities? Check.

Dark Knight

Type: Bruiser
Offense Rating: 4/5

Likely Countered by: Summoner, Archers, Wizards.

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Minor Charms like defensive barriers or offensie telekinetic waves. Channeling to become temporary stronger

Description: A character designed to deal damage and get dealt damage in a short-range environment with a certain amount of magic capabilities. Thrives in extended fights but folds against ranged opponents. Think the END creates this character to be a bit more buffy/punchy than normal, would be very curious to see what Skills and/or abilities comes out into this class.

Similar to:

The Witcher’ Geralt. This is beautifully displayed in this fight scene with Vereena where you see in classical Dark Knight fashion short-range fights (while waiting before the Bruxa is flying), using offensive magic spells as well as defensive magic shields.

League of Legend’s Darius

Less focused on magic but an offensive tank that has a hard time closing the gap versus ranged opponents.

Team Fortress 2’s Heavy

There is always one in competitive but his movements are slow, needs a windup to start shooting and is very vulnerable at his back despite having more health points (Vitality) than any other character.

Defensive Oriented

Paladin

Type: Tank

Defense Rating: 5/5

Likely Countered by: Dark Knight, Pirate, Dragoon.

Anticipated Skills/Abilities: Goad/Taunt to attack Pally instead, Aura Defense, limited healing capabilities.

Description: Given Endurance / Wisdom are more seen as primary stat versus Dexterity & Intelligence, the Paladin should be the game’s best Tank to have in your formation. It’s stats growth is impeccable in Defense and Vitality. The Paladin is going to be best Tank, and I would recommend starting with a good on here (Blue Stat or Subclass on any of the three would be a big win).
I am leaning on preferring to have a Common Paladin with Advanced/Elite Abilities versus a Legendary one with Basic — though this is subject to change but I’m very much hoping a Paladin can also take hits for your squishy heroes which only Adv/Elite abilities can do.

Similar to:

League of Legend’s Taric

Diablo 2’s Paladin

Conclusion

Hopefully you learned a bit about the classes, and how they could interact with the DFK combat system in both PvE/PvP. I’m using my past experience but having heard other game designers talking about these similar things in podcasts, we have a near similar view on the upcoming engine.

Additionally, I hope I invited you into thinking that fielding 3 Priests or 3 Paladin’s might not be the best idea. Also think we can counter a standard formation hard which we will explore in the last article.

Very much looking forward to hearing from you, what you think. Please reach out to me via Discord or Twitter!

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