XCOM 2
Warden Class - WOTC
Eramar  [developer] Oct 13, 2018 @ 1:56am
Balancing the Warden
Gameplay balance is important to me and many of the abilities have gone through many iterations to make sure the Warden Class is not over or underpowered. Do let me know what you think needs balancing. I've played this class in Legend difficulty most of the time.

The main idea behind the Warden is to provide a flexible soldier class which can cover many aspects of a fight.

But the way it handles all those aspects has to be different so that it is not a direct replacement of another class. Here are some of it:

Utility:
You can set the Warden up as a cover denial unit like the Grenadier with abilities like Half-Sword and Warden's Tide without destroying the said cover but pushing the enemies back. The catch is you won't be able to that without leaving the safety of your own cover.

Damage:
Standard shots are not turn ending like the Skirmisher. Melee attacks are not turn-ending either. So far it looks pretty bonkers.

However every single melee attack causes the warden to change stances and you do NOT have access to ranged attacks in Defensive Stance. Considering you always start your turn in offensive stance you cannot go melee an enemy and shoot them point blank in the face. To be able to that you'll need to somehow start the turn in Defensive Stance and the Lieutenant level ability Premonition is the only ability which allows you to do that. It is on a 3-turn cooldown so its not spammable.

You can first shoot and then go melee an enemy as long as they are 1 Action Point distance away from you. Which does respectable damage but leaves you out in the open. And enemies almost never start 1 Action Point away from your soldier, you need to set that up exclusively most of the time and its a fitting reward in my opinion.

Mitigation:
Foresight ability works similar to Templar's parry or Ranger's Untouchable however yet again there are some differences:

Foresight creates a shield around the Warden. The shield's strength is equal to the Warden's max health. (give you a bit more incentive to get better armors) It gets destroyed after taking any damage. This means the Warden does not cause the incoming attack to miss. This means you are still vulnarable against special attacks like Viper's Bind. However it also means that the shield does not get destroyed if an attack misses you.

So its at times more reliable than Ranger's Untouchable but other times less effective like Templar's Parry.

Notes on Perks and Balancing the Class:
Wardens don't have access to Run and Gun or Rapid Fire. However they do have access to Premonition which provides a unique effect which is quite flexible in terms of what you can do with it.

Consider a Lieutenant Warden:

We start the turn in offensive stance. Now if we go and melee the enemy that will put us in Defensive Stance and we won't be able to shoot and only use defensive stance abilities. However if we use Premonition at the beginning of the turn we'll be in Defensive Stance. Now if we go and melee the enemy we'll end up in Offensive Stance and we'll be able to shoot them at point blank range.

The example is very simplistic however it demonstrates what you can do with stances. Now think of every other ability you have access to. You essentialy have access to a far more flexible Rapid Fire which can do so many things:

-Increase your chances to hit and do more damage with Unwavering Concentration and shoot from the safety of your cover.
-Unbalance the enemy causing them to take more damage in one stance and then knock them back and disorient them in the next stance before ending your turn etc.

I've balanced the abilities in such a way that you will only come close to the damage numbers of a flanking Ranger with Rapid Fire (and that is done with Warden's colonel level abilities). However now you have the option to do less damage but apply additional effects on a 3 turn cooldown.
Last edited by Eramar; Oct 13, 2018 @ 2:05am
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Showing 1-4 of 4 comments
Gabriel Cooper Oct 24, 2018 @ 8:03am 
i do think the class is really well balanced,which is great for those looking for a class vanila like,but for soemone like me that gives myself as many advantages as possible (for exemple i have 12 soldiers on my squad and counting cause i want to sue as many classes as possible) the warden does feel a bit...weak. don't egt me wrong it can wreck everything if i can get it to shoot twice,but the lack of mobility is really the problem imo.

it ususally stays way behind the troops with all their run and gun and such. a good alternative would eb to give him the icarus armor (not by default of course,talking about in my playthrough) to make so he can effectivly cosplay as a edgy OC by being able to teleport around.

about the sword,it feel a bit weak at the moment,granted my warden isn't max level (he is one short in fact) but compared to the assult class from the richard's pack that get at least 3 perks that all raise the aim,damage and crit of the sword and you start to think the warden isn't comparable.

to be fair that pack has it's own balance and it would feel unfair to expenct it to be the same as other class mods,reason why i onyl get those that are either fun,cool or flavorfull. still,it feels like the whole sword thing is tacked on in a way,the new node is cool and interesting but maybe you should really focus on the sword for one of the branches,give it things like change to bleed,burn or hell even freeze would be awesome.

maybe a skill that can't crit and has lower damage but can inflict 2 random status would be really sweet,that would make so the innicial charge is more of a setup then the frontline of damage.

anyways,thats about it,great mod and really well balanced ina vacuum,but it can really lack behind once your other units get their op perks.
Eramar  [developer] Oct 24, 2018 @ 8:11am 
Appreciate the insight!

Yeah agreed, I balanced it around the vanilla classes as most of the modded cleasses were really OP to my liking and I can see how warden can lack behind as you say.

Sword damage was hard to balance as in Colonel you get access to Winding which does guaranteed critical damage with +3 damage. At this point warden's are about level with Templar melee with 3 focus.

But someone wanted Foresight shield to be really strong so I've included some options for that in the .ini. You can adjust Foresight to last like 5 turns and give you a shield 4 times your max health and pretend the Warden is some ungodly bubble monster that soaks in all the damage now.

Also thinking about replacing Fortress with a passive perk that enables you to melee twice in a turn, but I think shredding 6 armor and doing melee damage twice in a turn would be OP as well, gonna run some more tests on that ability before I decide.

Could also adjust Premonition to be more like Run and Gun where you can dash and still shoot/activate abilities. That'd require even more testing.

I work slow so.. We'll have to see.

Last edited by Eramar; Oct 24, 2018 @ 8:27am
Gabriel Cooper Oct 24, 2018 @ 8:18am 
i preciate you taken feedback! it's a great way of looking at it.

also,can i suggest something? how about if you melee in defensive stand it inflics debuffs like desoriented,blind or frozen and if you do it while in offenseive mode you inflict bleed,poision or burning.

it can be a perk for the final level,a individual skill or a passive,still i think status are really underutilized in the game,especially freeze,so i would love if mods incorporated it a bit more. i can see it beign hell to balance though.

anyways,great work dude,would love to add you on steam so we could talk in the future as you seem like a really awesome dude to chat with,anyways,keep up the good work :)
Eramar  [developer] Oct 24, 2018 @ 8:19am 
Ohhh that's an idea, reduced damage but bleed? I can balance around that, put it in Major level ability. I'll see.
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