What’s the problem?
When we dropped Lamplighters, the Guild Ball Community Project’s first new team, back in January this year, we said they were going straight to the top of our watchlist. Well, we meant that. We were always pretty careful about making a new minor guild too powerful – we all remember release edition Miners – but it looks like we skewed a bit too hard the other way…
Lamplighters, admittedly with only a limited game sample, are currently sitting on a 29% win rate on Longshanks, comfortably the lowest in the game (next up is Rats on 44%). The key issue we’ve repeatedly heard from the community are that they really struggle to do anything other than go 3-0. Lamps were always intended, like their parent Guild, to be a football team which can flex down to fight a bit.
As such, we’re making a number of small changes to improve their damage output and make them – particularly the owl – a little bit less fiddly. As always, we’ve tried to adhere to our errata golden rule of making simple changes wherever possible.
We didn’t have many issues with Nightlight herself, she’s a good captain. However, we did find that Flare Out was doing less damage than we initially expected. As Lamps low-ish linear damage was meant to be topped up by Flare Out, we felt the Guild needed a more direct means of applying damage. Hence the changes to Nightlight’s Legendary Play Eternal Flame. Firstly, a bit of cleanliness; the legendary just sets everyone (friend or foe) within 6” on fire, removing some of the complexity of the old wording. Secondly, and more importantly, all enemies within 6” take Devana-style 3 damage. We’re hoping this ability to directly apply more damage helps with Lamps’ 2/2 game.
Ok, you’ll all be pleased to know we’ve got rid of Intercept. I think we can definitely bank that one as trying something interesting which we just couldn’t make work cleanly. The bigger issue we had, was that Soot just didn’t actually do very much. So we’ve added 2 rules to the Owl. Firstly, keeping with the mobility and ability to go after free balls, Soot has gained Taking Flight. Secondly, Soot’s also been taking lessons from Naja and now has Test Subject, allowing the owl to turn conditions into free moves, Eye Spy‘s or attacks by pulling conditions. This is intended to give greater utility to Eye Spy (again helping a bit with damage output), while ensuring the owl is still able to flit all over the pitch if needed.
Phosphor has generally been regarded as the most underwhelming model in Lamps. We’ve made one simple but very significant change. Phosphor’s Alchemical Bomb now does 2 condition damage rather than 1. Put simply; if teams bunch up, Phosphor can now put out a really rather frightening amount of damage, even if they’re Brewers.
So there you have it. Three changes, all of which should hopefully allow Lamps players a bit more flexibility when they can’t get hold of the ball. Will these changes be too much or too little? Only time will tell…
Also, June is of course errata month, so you should see some exciting non-Lamps changes in the coming weeks…